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why am I unable to open .max files?

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why am I unable to open .max files? 
By dogsounds on May 03, 2001 06:34 AM
Howdy folks!

Bit of a newbie here...I've only just started using 3D StudioMax (a very old v.1.2 no less!!) and I'm having a little problem that no-one seems to be able to help me with.

I find that when I try to open .max files, nothing happens. If I already have a file open, it asks me the usual questions about whether I want to save the current file etc., but when the .max file opens up, there's absolutely nothing in any of the viewports. I can import and open .3ds files ok, so is there a setting that I don't know about?

I'm frustrated 'cos I have found some darn fine vehicle meshes, just what I am looking for, but when I open them I get nothing - not a wireframe, not a light, nada!

I would be utterly floaty and happy if someone could advise what is going on, am I doomed not to use .max files or am I just being a 40-watt (as usual)?

Also, while I remember, has anyone else come across a problem whereby you hit the render or quick render buttons, the dialog box with the info and progress bar appears, but the rendered image viewport with your lovingly crafted object does not?

many thanks for your assistance, I hope to be posting stuff to knock your socks off as soon as!

Foxx Wolf


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Re: why am I unable to open .max files? 
By Mike_Bendele on May 03, 2001 07:21 PM
That sometimes happens when the max file you are trying to open was created in a newer version of max than the one you are using. It's certainly true for models created in Max 4.

Considering the version you are using, that is most likely the problem. I don't think there is a way around that unless you can find a newer version of max to open the file with first.

Since it's just models you are after, try finding a friend with a current version of max and have him export the model to *.3ds for you.

Best of Luck

Last modification: Mike Bendele - 05/03/01 at 21:21:26
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Re: why am I unable to open .max files? 
By Activemind2000 on May 04, 2001 05:13 AM
Try importing the files.
see if something happens this way, and if you are able to import, re-save the file after import and let's hope everything will be fine.

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Re: why am I unable to open .max files? 
By Mike_Bendele on May 04, 2001 02:43 PM
ActiveMind: Have you found an import module that supports *.max files?

Could you supply a link?


Last modification: Mike Bendele - 05/04/01 at 16:43:51
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Re: why am I unable to open .max files? 
By dogsounds on May 05, 2001 04:46 AM

just an update folks!

I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't gonna be able to open .max files from higher versions of 3ds BUT! I have found a solution. Download 3d Explorations fro this address http://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-10078-100-2833114.html?tag=st.dl.10001-103-1.lst-7-10.2833114(shareware). It's effectively a viewer for various 3d formats, and will open and export .max files (so I can export as 3ds). Sorted!

Another reason to get it is that the redering section is actually better that 3ds max 1.2, so I use exploration now to do all my rendering. If you have v. 1.2, you will need to know the following.

When you open a .max file, you'll get the mesh, but it will have this large "dome" around it. When you export to 3ds, you'll see that when you open the 3ds file, all the parts of your model are strewn all over the place - kinda exploded out. Now, as a newbie, I have no idea what this means, but there is a solution to save you having to rebuild the whole damn model (which I am pants at anyhow). Here's how:

open the original .max file in Exploration. Save it as a 3ds file.

Open the 3ds file in 3ds Max. Choose a wireframe view, and then delete the following items: the large dome that surrounds the mesh, and the large circle, or base of the dome, which is on the horizontal plane. You will note at this point that your model or mesh is all exploded out, like a model kit waiting to be made. This is fine.

Export the mesh as a 3ds file. Then, once you have done this, withour doing anything else, save the mesh as a .max file.

Open the new .max file in Exploration. Voila! your mesh is there, perfect, and restored to normal, all the pieces in their proper place. (Unfortunately if you open the 3ds file you saved, that will still be blown apart, but what the hey.)Occasionally you'll get a mesh where some pieces just will not go where they are supposed (I have a Ford Stationwagon who's passenger doors refuse to go anywhere but through the windshield and hood at an obscure angle, not matter what I do, but never mind!)

I would recommend 3d Exploration if you don't already have it, and you are working woth 3ds 1.2. The renderer is far superior (e.g. you can add extra shadows, lighting, and up to 6 levels of anti-aliasing) and is very quick. Also supports batch file conversions, and your folders and files are displayed on screen, a la windows explorer, so you can organis your files at the same time.

Thought I'd let y'all know. Thanks for your help so far!

take care

Last modification: Foxx Wolf - 05/05/01 at 06:45:51

Last modification: Foxx Wolf - 05/05/01 at 06:46:19
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Re: why am I unable to open .max files? 
By Mike_Bendele on May 05, 2001 11:57 AM
Glad to hear you found a solution.
Thanks for the tip. Explorations sounds like a program worth checking out.


Last modification: Mike Bendele - 05/05/01 at 13:57:20
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Re: why am I unable to open .max files? 
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