February 3, 1998
Copyright Michael Wimmer
This is the second major public release of the 3DX exporter plugin for 3DS MAX. Please refer to the readme.doc file for a complete description of the plugin, this file will only cover the new changes from the last release (which are not covered in the readme.doc-file).
MAX 2 compatibility
The plugin now comes in two versions, one for 3DS MAX Release 2 and one for all versions prior to Release 2. They can be found in the directories MAX2 and MAX1, respectively. The functionality of the plugins is exactly the same for both releases. This change has been made to facilitate porting to MAX2. It is not meant to be an replacement for the ASCII Export feature already built into MAX2, which is much more powerful and complete than this plugin.
Rudimentary DirectX .x-format export capabilty
The main change to the previous version is a limited capability to export .x-files as used by DirectX. The plugin produces quite similar output as the conv3ds.exe-program which comes with the DirectX SDK, but is a little bit more flexible in the way transformations can be exported. But, like in the ASCII-format, animation data is not exported. Also, normals are not exported for .x, as they can be generated quite easily with an API call (and they are not stored explicitly in 3DS MAX).
Detailed description of new options
Z-axis points up (forward otherwise)
By default, scenes are exported with the z-axis pointing up (like in 3DS MAX). Reportedly, in DirectX the z-axis points in the view direction, so deselecting this option makes the z-axis point forward.
Emissive Color Property
As the DirectX file-format also supports an emissive color property, the Self Illumination property of 3DS MAX is exported as a monochrome emissive color. This is optional for the .3DX file-format. The Emissive property goes right before the TwoSided option in the .3DX file if exported:
Emissive: R: 0,3 G: 0,3 B: 0,3
Export Node/Object Offset Transformation; Apply Node/Object Offset Transformation
To allow experimenting with various transformations, there is a choice to either apply or export the Node and/or Object Offset Transformations. Applying the transformations means that they will be applied to all vertices before they are exported. Exporting the transformations means that they will be exported as a frame transformation matrix. Exporting the transformation is only available for the .x file-format.
The Node Transformation is the transformation from world coordinates to the pivot point (the small cross shaped object in 3DS MAX). The Object Offset Transformation is the transformation from the Pivot Point to the location of the object itself.
Of course, it doesn’t make much sense to both export and apply a transformation.
If both Node and Object Offset transformations are either applied or exported, they will be concatenated.
When using one of the transformation options, it is advisable to uncheck the ‘Export centered’ options, as the results are unpredictable.