Thursday, 12 May 2016

How To Load 3DS Max Files Into Maya

Visit a website like Turbosquid and you will find plenty of cool stuff, much of it free, to help you with your animation. You might want to download a set, or a prop, something to make your shot come alive, and quickly - you don't want to waste precious animation time modelling complex props and sets.

But what if the only available file type for download is a 3DS Max file? Max is a popular platform for learning animation and, while is it much less widely used in industry than Maya, there is lots of great free content out there in the 3DS Max format. So, what we need is a way to import 3DS Max files into Maya.  Fortunately, it's pretty easy when you know how.

Turbosquid - a great source for free stuff
How to import 3DS Max files into Maya

  1. First of all, you will need to find Maya bonus tools at the main Autodesk site. You will also need a login for Autodesk, but let's assume you have one already since you have a working copy of Maya on your desktop. 
  2. Now login to Autodesk using your user name and password. You can also connect through Facebook.
  3. Download the correct OS. Open the folder, run the bonus tools.
  4. Now open Maya, go to Windows/SettingsPrefs/PluginManager. 
  5. Scroll down through the plugin manager until you find 3dsimport.mll. Click on load and autoload, and click refresh. Now you have the plugin loaded.
  6. Now go to file/import and search for your 3DS Max files, and import them into Maya. 
Note that this only works with .3DS files, not .Max files. The latter cannot be opened using this method - you will have to open them up in Max and then export them as a .fbx file or a .obj file, both of which can be imported into Maya.

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