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human
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5 Nov 2009, 07:11 PM #1

ok, i know very little about 3ds max, but i have made a few dodgy tracks with it and im offering some help for the community, if anyone has any questions. i may be completely unable to help, but i may know the answer to the simpler questions.
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miromiro
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5 Nov 2009, 08:04 PM #2

first question
where can i get the 9th version on 3Ds Max
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human
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5 Nov 2009, 09:13 PM #3

that is easy to answer, you can get it Here
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miromiro
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5 Nov 2009, 10:05 PM #4

anything illegal ?
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human
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6 Nov 2009, 12:12 AM #5

people dont suggest illegal stuff on a public forum.
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KDL
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6 Nov 2009, 06:40 AM #6

the legal version won't take more than 30 days, then you have to purchase it.

you can use gMAX, free and legal (if you are searching something like that)
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urnemanden
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6 Nov 2009, 08:19 AM #7

Gmax is a good alternative to 3ds max (as Kay also mentioned), if you aren't interested in paying that whole lot of money into your track making. Yet, the ASE exporter plugin doesn't export the vertex colors, tho.

Question: What is your prefered way to edit your mesh?
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human
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6 Nov 2009, 10:41 AM #8

not sure what do you mean urne, it depends on what am i going to do of course, if you are asking what do i convert the objects to for editing, i always use edit poly option, it gives you more control on the individual poligons, and you need to think poligon instead of mesh when making tracks for revolt, because it only accepts low poli models. i use several modifiers once i have an editable poli object.

as for gmax, i need to check it out, but i think it should be able to do all the editing that max does, in fact, if it has all the basic tools its better than max, because free, smaller, simpler. sounds strange that it doesnt export vertex colors, i personally think that its important from the design point of view.
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urnemanden
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6 Nov 2009, 11:55 AM #9

Usually I use Editable mesh since it's easier for me to find around in there. I almost never uses polygon mode, I find vertex mode better. Poly Edit looks too confusing.
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human
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6 Nov 2009, 12:16 PM #10

yes, just use whatever is more comfortable and what you find better to work with.
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KDL
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6 Nov 2009, 01:23 PM #11

hi, Is there anyway to get UV map quality and the lowest polies as possible at the same time?
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urnemanden
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6 Nov 2009, 01:48 PM #12

It's hard to obtain quality with a low amount of polygons and textures only available at 256x256 pixels. And unfortunately you neither can UV Map out of the little blue outline that indicates the bmp, centered in the UVW Unwrap window.
I don't know if there is any other possibilities...?
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human
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6 Nov 2009, 10:51 PM #13

KDL @ Nov 6 2009, 02:23 PM wrote: hi, Is there anyway to get UV map quality and the lowest polies as possible at the same time?
im not sure what do you mean by "uv map quality"
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KDL
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7 Nov 2009, 10:15 AM #14

to have a good texturing quality
with the fewest polies

but I think it's impossible :(
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human
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7 Nov 2009, 11:51 AM #15

texturing quality depends more on the texture itself than the number of poligons. if you create a one poligon square and texture it, and then you divide it to 1000 poligons, it will look exactly the same, doesnt matter how many poligons it contains. texturing quality depends on the size and number of the textures. big size=covers larger area with the same detail, usable to texture more models, more textures=more textures, no need to explain :)
main problem with revolt is the limited number of textures. im not a programer, but cant see any reason why it is only ten .bmp files, and not 20 for example.
256x256 pixel is ok for games, we just need to have more of them.
i also need to mention that a clever use of textures helps a lot. have a look on toys in the hood2 for example, you dont really miss anything, its good as it is, and it is built from ten .bmp files.
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KDL
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7 Nov 2009, 09:17 PM #16

ok thx :)

Is there anyway to make rgb(0,0,0) transparent in 3ds max so I get:
this (just like in Re-Volt) :

instead of this:

thanks again :)
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human
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7 Nov 2009, 11:32 PM #17

yes.
you need to set up a so called opacity map.
i assume you know how to set up a multi/sub-object material with that ten bmp files.
now, the actual bmp file is the diffuse map, right?
diffuse map is to be set in the basic parameters of a sub-material.
now, you find other kind of parameters as well, you will see: extended parameters, supersampling, and maps too.
open maps, and in the list you can see: opacity. click on the "none" rectangle and load the same bmp file which you chose for the diffuse texture in the basic parameters, thats obviously one of the ten bmp files for the track.
turn on the toggle "show map in viewport" on every level (thats the blue&white cube button) and whatever is totally black on your texture, will be transparent in the viewport.
please note: you probably have to right click on the viewport's name, in the right click menu go down to "transparency" and choose "best".
let me know if you didnt understand something.
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urnemanden
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8 Nov 2009, 07:05 AM #18

The best thing will be doing an additional Alpha map in your case, kay, since your texture has dark shades in it. All grey colors will turn transperant and dark green colors and other not 100% lighted colors will turn partly transperant, since the opacity channel only operates with the black/white (alpha) channel. To build an alpha map, take eventually a look below:

Here is our texture. Start out by opening it in Paint.NET (which I know you've installed)


Now, go find the Magic Wand tool and in the toolbar change the way the magic wand operates from contiguous to global. Also, turn down the Tolerance from 50% to 0%.


Now press anywhere on the black (0, 0, 0). The magic wand will then select every thing with that black value.


Then use Ctrl+I once, to invert the selection. Now, go to Adjustments->Levels and change the value I marked with red from 0 to 255 and press OK.


You now have an alpha texture looking like this:


(Remember to use Save As ->)
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KDL
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8 Nov 2009, 07:54 AM #19

thanks :)
that helps a lot

I think it disables other blacks as well, but it doesn't matter ;) since I can create "opacity map" thanks to Urnemanden :)

thanks again :D
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human
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8 Nov 2009, 12:47 PM #20

yes, as urne described, if there are black and white tones on the texture the best thing to do is to create a matching map where any colors apart from total black are covered with white. nice tutorial urne.
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urnemanden
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9 Nov 2009, 08:07 AM #21

Thanks, I am glad I could help. :)
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urnemanden
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12 Nov 2009, 02:49 PM #22

human @ Nov 6 2009, 11:41 AM wrote: as for gmax, i need to check it out, but i think it should be able to do all the editing that max does, in fact, if it has all the basic tools its better than max, because free, smaller, simpler. sounds strange that it doesnt export vertex colors, i personally think that its important from the design point of view.
Together with Baltram, the original author of the ASE exporter plugin, I managed to export one of my unreleased tracks from Gmax into Re-Volt with vertex colors, multi-textures and everything. I would dare to say that Gmax could be a just as good alternative to 3ds max as Zmodeler and Blender! :D
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human
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15 Nov 2009, 02:59 AM #23

thats brilliant urne, good job! is the tool available for the public?
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urnemanden
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15 Nov 2009, 10:34 AM #24

Well, I could upload it if anyone is interested. I have to create an error/solution database first, though, the ASE exporting isn't as easy as in 3ds max. A good idea would be to start out reading the Gmax tutorial, if you haven't aleready. :)
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human
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15 Nov 2009, 09:37 PM #25

well, im obviously not very interested as i use 3dsmax, just let the rest of the community know about it if you want, if there is a max-like software people can use and is free, there might be more users interested in making tracks.
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urnemanden
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15 Nov 2009, 09:45 PM #26

Well, in your case human, you'll probably feel limited since some small goodies has been removed in Gmax. For example you cannot use Ctrl+A to select all faces/vertexes on a mesh. The UVW Unwrap tool doesn't support the same kind of face editing, neither and the Copy/Paste function has been removed too (sadly!).
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human
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16 Nov 2009, 07:35 PM #27

a software that doesnt understand ctrl+a? ouch. you sure urne?
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KDL
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16 Nov 2009, 07:43 PM #28

Blender is 10000x better :)
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human
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18 Jan 2010, 07:31 AM #29

urne,
you said you exported a gmax model into revolt, right?
now, how did you do that, did you write an ase exporter?
because i want to open some gmax files in max and after 5 hours of heavy fighting i wasnt able to open them in max, no matter what plugin, script or converter i tried.

EDIT: ok, i checked the posts above and revolt wiki as well. so you have an exporter that creates a normal .ase file? i think i can get an ase importer for 3dsmax and it could work that way, whatcha henk?
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zagames
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18 Jan 2010, 09:19 PM #30

I tried many of those human. There is always a boatload of errors. The best one I found actually loaded *.asc files. The same format as *.ase but a different extension. And even it was junk.
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human
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19 Jan 2010, 09:53 AM #31

yea, non of them worked ok, a few worked smoothly from max to gmax, but thats useless to me, i wanted it to go from gmax to max. gmax always reported some kind of error when exporting, max normally worked fine. to me, it looks like something on the borderline of complete nonsense to create a software by the same company, based on the same max engine and not to be able to move a file between the two softwares. they should have thrown in at least an exporter modul for gmax, in case there are people (and there are) who want to go further with that gmax created file in max. they probably would have made an official plugin if the company would have been supporting gmax, but it was dropped by discreet in 2005.
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KDL
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30 Jan 2010, 05:29 PM #32

hello
I was wondering what's better in shadows

- assign vertex color: not worked as it should
- vertex coloring (and slicing etc...)

in order to make realistic shadows?
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urnemanden
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31 Jan 2010, 07:26 AM #33

Well, I am using assign vertex color and never did anything else. It do take time when making shadows on a landscape as for example the forest part in Radioactive Garden. though.

I am currently planning how to do my next track, but I don't know whether I should priorty shadows or landscape low-polyness first?
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zipperrulez
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1 Feb 2010, 04:08 AM #34

Can 3dsmax import .ase files?
if so, can it export as a 3ds?
Hoping to do some new conversions from a new game :)
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hilaire9
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1 Feb 2010, 03:10 PM #35

3ds Max can Import and Export .3ds files.
It can Export .ase files.
It can not Import .ase files, but there may be
a plugin for this, but I don't know.
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KDL
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1 Feb 2010, 08:52 PM #36

urnemanden @ Jan 31 2010, 08:26 AM wrote: Well, I am using assign vertex color and never did anything else. It do take time when making shadows on a landscape as for example the forest part in Radioactive Garden. though.

I am currently planning how to do my next track, but I don't know whether I should priorty shadows or landscape low-polyness first?
I believe the large-floating points on low-poly mesh makes the track feel dizzy because of errors on point floating calculation which is limited to 2^somenumber...

for me, I think the shadow should be the last thing to do, but an expert's advice is always needed :P
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human
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16 Feb 2010, 01:12 AM #37

hi guys, sorry ive been busy doing other things recently.

to try to answer kdl's questions first:

both methods can be used but with different results.

by assign vertex colors i assume you mean applying radiosity and burning the colors in the verteces. assign vertex color needs a lot of verteces to look nice, it can be used for terrains for example to simulate diffused daylight shadows, but its not good for strong sharp sun-cast shadows of buildings for example, because it will never be sharp unless you use thousands of verteces or apply some sort of poly cutting to separate bright and dark areas.

cutting polis and coloring vertexes is good for sharp shadows, vertex color modifier is also good for free hand shading, coloring, i quite like it but it uses a lot of memory and video card power when applying.

to zipper: i think max can import ase files via a plugin, ill have a look tomorrow, its on the other pc.
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zipperrulez
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16 Feb 2010, 09:16 PM #38

human @ Feb 16 2010, 02:12 AM wrote: to zipper: i think max can import ase files via a plugin, ill have a look tomorrow, its on the other pc.
ok sounds fine, i just dont want to do a download and install for nothing :)
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miromiro
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16 Feb 2010, 09:40 PM #39

I like the people that use drivespace for nothing :roflmao:
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human
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16 Feb 2010, 10:40 PM #40

zipperrulez @ Feb 16 2010, 10:16 PM wrote:ok sounds fine, i just dont want to do a download and install for nothing :)
hey zippie,
i have found an ase importer that should work, its an asc importer, but i renamed an .ase file to .asc and my max imported it with the plugin. its dead easy to install, there are three folders saying max4, 5 and 6, take the file from max6 and copy it into your max/plugins folder. then rename your .ase (after backup) to .asc and import it into max: file/import. select the asc importer from the list for file types to see your .asc file in the browser window. its called gothic something. should work.
i have max 7 and it works fine.
the plugin is HERE
go for the second one, 66 kb
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zipperrulez
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16 Feb 2010, 11:36 PM #41

great human, thank you :D
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hilaire9
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17 Feb 2010, 09:11 PM #42

I tested this Gothic ascii importer plugin importing into
Max5 with .ase files exported from Max8 with mixed results.
I imported a 6,000 polygon track into Max 5, it imported
about 95% perfect, but with problems:
Invisible objects (there are there (selectable) but do not display).
Anything Vertex shaded or colored defaulting to black (0).
UVW defaulting to 0,0,0 on some faces.
Nothing that can't be fixed by reworking the mesh, except the
invisible objects (ASE2W does not like these).
Maybe MAX 5 and 8 are too far apart for perfect importing.
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human
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17 Feb 2010, 10:52 PM #43

max is traditionally not compatible backwards.
on the other hand, these third party plugins often has bugs.
i tried the plugin with exporting ase from max 7 and then importing it back.
seems its a bit more problematic using the plugin between different versions.
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zipperrulez
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18 Feb 2010, 12:54 AM #44

sorry but i do not see a plugins folder. i am using the latest max, i guess thats 10 or what?
edit: lol i was looking in the wrong folder.
edit 2: the plugin gives me an error at start.
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human
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23 Feb 2010, 07:53 PM #45

did you rename the .ase to .asc?
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zipperrulez
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23 Feb 2010, 10:41 PM #46

i cant use the plugin because it crashes max at the loading screen.
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human
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23 Feb 2010, 10:46 PM #47

how do you know its the plugin that makes max crash?
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zipperrulez
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24 Feb 2010, 04:32 AM #48

well it doesnt crash when the plugin isnt installed and it does when the plugin is installed. that seemed like a clear indicator to me.
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human
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24 Feb 2010, 07:52 PM #49

well, seems like. its a shame it doesnt work with your max. its too clever thats the problem, doesnt understand old stuff :). anyway you are not alone, zach, hil and i and many max users tried plugins like that and there is always something that goes wrong. this one worked for me, other dozen didnt. you may find something if you make a throughout search online.
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SkindupTruk
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26 Feb 2010, 11:28 PM #50

human @ Feb 16 2010, 11:12 AM wrote: hi guys, sorry ive been busy doing other things recently.

to try to answer kdl's questions first:

both methods can be used but with different results.

by assign vertex colors i assume you mean applying radiosity and burning the colors in the verteces. assign vertex color needs a lot of verteces to look nice, it can be used for terrains for example to simulate diffused daylight shadows, but its not good for strong sharp sun-cast shadows of buildings for example, because it will never be sharp unless you use thousands of verteces or apply some sort of poly cutting to separate bright and dark areas.

cutting polis and coloring vertexes is good for sharp shadows, vertex color modifier is also good for free hand shading, coloring, i quite like it but it uses a lot of memory and video card power when applying.

to zipper: i think max can import ase files via a plugin, ill have a look tomorrow, its on the other pc.
great info here!

in max how do you apply hard and soft shadows? is there a tool included that applies the vertex lighting for you?
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