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3DSMax

3DSMax 2023+

In this guide, we will walk through exporting a glb from 3DSMax using the native glTF exporter.

Support Version: 3DSMax 2023+

Your materials will need to be converted to a glTF material prior to export and we’ll walk you through those steps.

Let’s dive into it!

Current Exporter Limitations:

  • No animation, skin or morpher data is exported. Please see our animation guide if you need to export an animation out of 3DSMax.

  • Hierarchies are flattened when exported.

  • Vertex Colors are not exported in the mesh.

  • Exporter does not support nested multi-subobject and shell materials past the second level of nesting.

  • The Bitmap Texture is the only supported map input for the glTF Material.

  • Bitmaps of the same name but different type are not exported properly (if the material has both a red.png and a red.jpg, only one bitmap will export).

  • Materials are not exported correctly if using multi-materials that have empty slots in the Multi/Sub-Object Basic Parameters rollout.

Creating a glTF Material

For the best results we recommend using the new glTF material.

To begin let’s dive into the material editor by clicking on the material editor shelf icon.

This will open our material editor so we can see the materials we have in our scene.

 

As you can see, we have 2 glTF materials that are using textures. If you are not using glTF materials you can create one by searching for glTF material in the Material/Map Browser.

 

To create one click and drag it onto your workspace.

 

Clicking on the material will bring up its properties. Navigate to the glTF Material Overview section to learn more details about this material type.

 

Now we can begin to covert our physical material to the newly created glTF material.

 

Since our material is using textures, the process is very straight forward. We must simply reconnect the textures from the physical material to our glTF material and then apply it to our asset. To do this, click and drag on the output of the texture node and connect it to the below channels of the glTF mateiral:

  • Base Color to Base Color map input

  • Roughness to Roughness map input

  • Metallic/ Metalness to Metalness map input

  • Normal to Normal map input

 

Once the texture maps are connected to the glTF material, your material will look similar to the below.

 

Now that our material is configured we can select our mesh and with our mesh selected right click on our material and select apply to selected.

 

Now that we have our materials configured we are ready to export.

Exporting

To export, select the assets you want to export and navigate to File → Export Selected.

 

Select glTF from the drop down and then click Save.

 

The will open the glTF export window. The default setting are perfect! Click Export when ready.

 

Now we are ready to upload our asset to VNTANA.

glTF Material Overview

The glTF material supports base PBR materials as well as these extension Clearcoat, Sheen, Specular Color, Transmission and IOR. (Ensure that the viewer you are using supports the extensions used in your material).

 

For the base PBR properties we have:

 

  • Base color – Controls the base color of the material. This can be a value or a texture. If no texture is used the material will use the color defined in the color swatch.
  • Alpha Mode – This is used to set the blend mode of the material. This controls the transparency settings of the material.
    • Opaque: Not see through.
    • Mask: Use this when using an Alpha map.
    • Blend: Use this for translucent objects, like glass.
  • Metalness – This controls the metallic characteristics of the material. This can be a texture or a value. If no texture is present the value will be used.
    • 1 – Full metallic
    • 0 – Not metallic
  • Roughness – This controls the roughness characteristics of the material. This can be a value or a texture.
    If a texture is not present the value will be used.
    • 1 – Rough – Not specular – Think concrete.
    • 0 – Smooth – Highly Specular – Think a mirror.
  • Normal – This can be used to add detail that is not modeled in.
  • Occlusion – Ambient Occlusion controls the soft shadows on our asset. If not using a texture the value should be left at 1.
  • Emission – This controls the glow of our material. If a texture is not used the color swatch will be used. Any color that is not black will be emissive.
    • Does this material give off light? If yes, this is needed.
  • Double sided – This flag controls if the material will render on both sides of the polygon face.

 

For the Extension properties we have:

 

  • Unlit material – This controls whether the asset should be rendered as unlit.
  • Clearcoat – Clearcoat is a common technique used in Physically-Based Rendering to represent a protective layer applied to a base material. For our Clearcoat properties we have an overall value this controls how much clearcoat we want to apply to our material. If we use a texture for this value we can mask out where we want our clearcoat to be placed. Clearcoat roughness allows us to control the roughness (how shiny) our clearcoat is. This allows us to apply a unique normal map to our clearcoat.
  • Sheen Color – A sheen layer is a common technique used in Physically-Based Rendering to represent cloth and fabric materials. For our properties we have sheen color this controls the overall color of our sheen effect, if a texture is not used the color in the swatch will be used. We also have control over the roughness of our sheen.
  • Specular – This allows you to apply a specular color to our material. For our Specular Color we have an overall value this control how much clear coat we want to apply to our material. If we use a texture for this value we can mask out where we want our Specular Color to be placed.
  • Transmission – Specular Transmission is a common technique used in Physically-Based Rendering to represent frosted glass. For our Transmission we have an overall value this control how much clear coat we want to apply to our material. If we use a texture for this value we can mask out where we want our Transmission to be placed.
  • IOR – This allows you to manually set the IOR of your material (defaults to 1.5).

3DSMax 2022 and below

In this guide we will cover the exporting options we have when coming from 3DSMax. For Max we recommend to export as a glb using the BabylonJS glTF exporter. You can find the installer for your version of Max here

Unless, if you have a complicated material graph, we recommend using the Max OBJ exporter or following our Bake Guide below. The Max OBJ exporter will bake the material graph on export. If an OBJ is not desired, proceed to the Bake Guide which recommends exporting as a GLB post baking.

It is always recommended to use a texture for the base color instead of a color value. If you are using a color value for your base color you must export as a glb.

Before we dig in, here are the recommended settings for both glTF, FBX and OBJ exports.

3DSMax Export Settings for GLB:

  • Export textures: True
  • Export only Selected: True
  • Export tangents: True
  • Export Materials: True
  • Copy Textures to output: True
  • Export normal: True

3DSMax Export Settings for FBX:

  • Turbo smooth: True
  • Convert deforming dummies to bones: True
  • Preserve edge orientation: True
  • Version: 2014/2015 or newer
    Type: Binary
  • Embedded Media: True
  • Up Axis: Y up

3DSMax Export Settings for OBJ

  • Flip YZ-Axis: True
  • Texture Coordinates: True
  • Normals: True
  • Smoothing Groups: True
  • Vertex: True
  • Normals: True
  • Texture-coord: True
  • Export materials: True
  • Create Mat-library: True
  • Render procedurals: True
  • Format: png
  • Size: 4096×4096 (recommended)

Materials

Physical Material

In Max we have access to a variety of Material Types we recommend that you use the “Physical Material”. The physical material is physically based so it supports PBR inputs.

  • Base Color

    • FBX exports always require a texture map.
  • Metallic

  • Roughness

We recommend using a power of 2 texture saved as a .png. That map is then plugged into its respective slot as defined below:

Note it is recommended that even if you are using a map for the Metallic and Roughness that its value is set to 1.0. This is important if you are exporting as an OBJ.

  • Albedo to Base Color map (required for FBX export)
  • Metallic to Metallic map
  • Roughness to Roughness map
  • Normal to Bump map


If your material requires transparency we need to have a Color map with an Alpha embedded in the image file. We recommend a power of 2 .TGA saved out in a 32 bit format.

We recommend TGA since this allows you to save out an alpha channel from Photoshop. Photoshop only allows Alphas via transparent backgrounds in your image document when saving out as a PNG. If you are using a .png with a transparent background please ensure that the texture Alpha source is set to Image alpha with pre-multiplied Alpha enabled:


In the Material make sure Transparency is set to 1.0 (as pictured below).


Please also make sure the Texture map is plugged into the following channels:

  • Base Color Map
  • Transparency Color Map


Complex Materials

If your material contains node graphs similar to this, where there is a node in-between the input texture and the material input, then we recommend to export via Max’s OBJ exporter. It is required to follow the material set up outlined above.

Additionally, if you do not wish to export an OBJ, please reference our Bake Guide below to bake the materials, re-assign, and export as a GLB. 


It is important to avoid using spaces in textures names. We recommend using underscores instead “_”.
Example:

  • Correct texture name: VNTANA_texture.png
  • Incorrect texture name: VNTANA texture.png

Mesh

After you have applied the materials to your model we need to prepare it for export. To do this we want to move the asset to origin. The easiest way to do this is to select your model and in the transform box zero out the values for X, Y and Z  (the transform box is located on the right side of the UI under the animation timeline). 

 

Xfom Tool
After that we want to reset the models XForms, this can be found in the Utilities tab with your model selected.

 

This is a very handy tool that can be used to clear and reset the objects transforms. It can also be very helpful in clearing up any weird rotation, scale, modifier (any modifier that uses asset transforms/asset bounding box), and normal issues. This tool will also expose any Flipped faces.

 

Modifier Stack
The last step in preparing the model for export is to collapse the stack located in your modify tab. With your model selected, click on the Modify tab and on the top of the stack, right click and select collapse all. 

 

You will see a warning saying you will not be able to change the parameters of the modifiers you have applied when you perform this action, click yes.

GLB Export

For best results please ensure to review our Materials and Mesh sections above prior to export.

With your model selected navigate to Babylon > Babylon File Exporter.

 

GLB Export Settings:

  • Export textures: True
  • Export only Selected: True
  • Export tangents: True
  • Export Materials: True
  • Copy Textures to output: True
  • Export normal: True

FBX Export

For best results please ensure to review our Materials and Mesh sections above prior to export.

All materials are required to use a texture map for the base color channel.

With your model selected go to File > Export > Export Selected

This will open up a window and allow you to select the desired export location and file name. After you have defined those parameters, the FBX options will appear. Please make sure to enable the below settings:

FBX Export Settings:

  • Turbo smooth: True
  • Convert deforming dummies to bones: True
  • Preserve edge orientation: True
  • Version: 2014/2015 or newer
    Type: Binary
  • Embedded Media: True
  • Up Axis: Y up

OBJ Export

Note: avoid using spaces and Unicode characters in your names this can introduce naming issues in the obj exporter.


For best results please ensure to review our Materials and Mesh sections above prior to export. If you have complex materials present in your scene, you should export with the Obj Exporter.

Complex material example below:

With your model selected go to File>Export>Export Selected.

 

Define the location you wish to save your file and select .obj from the drop down.

 

OBJ Export Settings:

  • Flip YZ-Axis: True
  • Texture Coordinates: True
  • Normals: True
  • Smoothing Groups: True
  • Vertex: True
  • Normals: True
  • Texture-coord: True
  • Export materials: True
  • Create Mat-library: True
  • Render procedurals: True
  • Format: png
  • Size: 4096×4096 (recommended)

 

After the export process completes you will need to go to the folder you exported the file to, select the textures, .mtl, and obj file, then and the files together. Now we can upload the .zip file to VNTANA.

Bake & Export Guide

In this guide, we will go over how to bake out complex materials, including VRay materials, so that they can be exported via the Open Babylon glb Exporter plugin for 3DSMax. This guide will go over two different methods of baking depending on how your asset is constructed.

 

The Max material graph is designed to give artists the ability to create and edit any texture. Users can combine these with textures to create excellent materials. The drawback is that materials are not exportable in this form. These materials will need to be converted to Physical Materials prior to export. 

Complex Material
VRay Material
Exportable Material

If you do not have this plugin, you can find the installer for your version of Max at .

Option 1 - Material Graph Using Geometry Information

It is recommended to use this method if you have any nodes within your Material node graph that use geometry information.
An example would be a fall node with its “Falloff Direction” set to “Object.”

We’ll cover the below steps:

  • Packing UVs

  • Baking

  • Applying Materials

Packing UVs

To bake out our material, we must ensure that our UVs are within 0-1. If your asset’s UVs are within 0-1, you can proceed to the next section, Baking.

 

If your asset’s UVs are not within 0-1, we will need to pack our UVs before we bake.

Let’s dive into the Packing process.

1. Duplicate: Duplicate the mesh component with UVs that are not within 0-1. Rename it with the suffix LP (Low poly).
This will become our bake target and the mesh we will export.

In our case, the UVs for this entire group of mesh components are outside of 0-1. We duplicated the group and renamed it with the suffix LP (Low poly).

2. UVW Unwrap Modifier: With our mesh component selected, we want to add a UVW unwrap modifier. This will allow us to edit our assets UVs.

After clicking Unwrap UVW you will notice an Unwrap UVW in our modifier Stack.

3. Open UV Editor: Click Open UV Editor to open our UV window. As we can see, our UVs are outside of 0-1 space.

4. Pack UVs: To position our UVs within 0-1, navigate to Tools → Pack UVs within the top menu.

5. Packing Tool Settings: The Packing Tools dialog box will open. We recommend the below settings;

 

Packing Type: Non-Convex
Padding: 0.001
Normalize Clusters: True
Rotate Clusters: True
Fill Holes: True
Rescale Clusters: True
Iterations: 3
Map Size: 2048

Now the UVs are within 0-1.

Note: Depending on assets, UV Unfolding might be required. When baking, it is recommended to avoid stretching and overlapping UVs. We don’t have any of those in our example, so we can move on to the next step.

Baking

Once you have confirmed that the UVs are within 0-1 and are not overlapping, the asset is ready for material baking.

Let’s walk through the baking steps below:

1. Bake to Texture: Navigate to Render → Bake to Texture within the top menu. This will bring up the bake-to-texture window.

The Bake To Texture tool allows us to select multiple bake outputs as well as multiple mesh components to bake.

2. Set Up Bake to Texture:

A. Target Mesh: To add a bake element, we must first select our target mesh or meshes (duplicated Low Poly mesh) in our viewport or scene outliner. It is recommended to select all the meshes you intend to bake in this step.

B. Define Material Channel: Then find the channel “Color” or the name of the specialized material you’re using (i.e. “VRayDiffuseFilterMap”), within the Map Type panel on the left.
Double-click the channel to add to the bake output.

The default texture settings are suitable however, the image size, padding, and file type can be adjusted as needed.

Complex Material
VRay Material

C. Define Remaining Material Channels: Now, we must add the channels for our Normal, Metallic, and Roughness maps.
To add these, we must find and add the following channels to the bake output within the Map Type panel:

  • “Normal”
  • “Metalness”
  • “Roughness”

For VRay materials, search for:

  • “VRayNormalsMap”

  • ”VRayMetalnessMap”

  • “VRayRoughnessMap”

For other specialized materials, search for the appropriate channels with that material types name. 

We also must change our project from setting from “Self” to our source mesh (the original model).

Complex Material
VRay Material

Select bake to begin the baking process

This can be time-consuming, depending on the complexity of the asset.

Applying Materials

Now that we have baked all of the materials, they will need to be applied to the Low Poly mesh. We will need to apply a new material, then apply our textures, and then the asset is ready for export.

Let’s dive into it:

1. Open the Material Editor: To apply our newly baked textures, we must go to our Material Editor. To do this, Press M on your keyboard or select the Material Editor icon from your shelf. This will open our Material Editor.

2. Add a Physical Material: We want to create a new Physical Material, this can be found in our material map browser under Materials → General → Physical Material. Drag the material into the Material Editor.

3. Add Baked Textures: Now we need to bring in our textures from the bake operation. Within a file explorer window, navigate to the output path from the Baking section, select all of the textures and drag and drop them into the Material Editor.

4. Define the Material Channels per Texture: Now that we have our textures in the Material Editor, we can begin connecting the textures to the material inputs.

A. Base Color: Let’s begin with our Base color map. Connect the Color Map or VRayDiffuseFilterMap bake output to our Base Color Map pin of the material.

B. Roughness: Now connect the Roughness Map or VRayRoughnessMap bake output to our Roughness Map pin of the material.

C. Metalness: Now connect the Metalness Map or VRayMetalnessMaps bake output to our Metalness Map pin of the material.

D. Normal: Now connect our Normals Map or VRayNormalsMap bake output to our Bump Map pin of the material.

5. Apply Material to Mesh: Now that our textures have been linked to the material we are ready to apply the material to the mesh. With our desired mesh selected right click on the material and select “Assign Material to Selection”.

6. Repeat Material Creation and Application: Now we must create materials, connect the rest of the bake outputs, and apply the materials to the remaining mesh components.

Export

After applying our materials, we are ready to export as a glb via the Babylon 3DSMax Exporter plugin. Reference our export guidelines here.

Option 2 - Material Graph Not Using Geometry Information

It is recommended to use this method if you do not have any nodes within your node graph that use geometry information.

Baking Preparation

We must create a plane in our scene for every Complex or Vray Material used.

Note: we want to use the base material nodes. If a multi-material is used, we want to grab the inputs and bake those out.

1. Add a Plane: To do this, we must go to our Creation window and select Plane from the list.

2. Create a plane: This will enable the plane creation tool that can be used to draw a plane to the desired size. Our plane’s size is not important as long as it is square. For our example, I have set our plane to 10cm x 10 cm.

3. Apply materials: Apply each materials or VRay material within the scene to a plane.

After creating a plane for each material and applying the material to the plane, we are ready to use the Bake to Texture tool.

Baking

Let’s walk through the baking steps below:

1. Bake to Texture: Navigate to Render → Bake to Texture within the top menu. This will bring up the bake-to-texture window.

The Bake To Texture tool allows us to select multiple bake outputs as well as multiple mesh components to bake.

2. Set Up Bake to Texture:

A. Target Mesh: To add a bake element, we must first select our target mesh or meshes (the planes we created for our materials). It is recommended to select all the meshes you intend to bake in this step.

B. Define Material Channel: Then find the channel “Color” or any other specialized material (i.e. “VRayDiffuseFilterMap”), within the Map Type panel on the left.
Double-click the channel to add to the bake output.

The default texture settings are suitable however, the image size, padding, and file type can be adjusted as needed.

Complex Material
VRay Material

C. Define Remaining Material Channels: Now, we must add the channels for our Normal, Metallic, and Roughness maps.
To add these, we must find and add the following channels to the bake output within the Map Type panel:

  • “Normal”
  • “Metalness”
  • “Roughness”

If you’re using VRay Materials, search for: 

  • “VRayBumpNormalsMap”

  • ”VRayMetalnessMap”

  • “VRayRoughnessMap”

For other specialized materials, search for the appropriate channels with that material types name. 

Complex Material
VRay Material

D. Bake: Select bake to begin the baking process.

This can be time-consuming, depending on the complexity of the asset.

Applying Materials

Now that we have baked all of the materials, they will need to be applied to the Low Poly mesh. We will need to apply a new material, then apply our textures, and then the asset is ready for export.

Let’s dive into it:

1. Open the Material Editor: To apply our newly baked textures, we must go to our Material Editor. To do this, Press M on your keyboard or select the Material Editor Icon from your shelf. This will open our Material Editor.

2. Add a Physical Material: We want to create a new Physical Material, this can be found in our material map browser under Materials → General → Physical Material. Drag the material into the Material Editor.

3. Add Baked Textures: Now we need to bring in our textures from the bake operation. Within a file explorer window, navigate to the output path from the Baking section, select all of the textures and drag and drop them into the Material Editor.

4. Define the Material Channels per Texture: Now that we have our textures in the Material Editor, we can begin connecting the textures to the material inputs.

A. Base Color: Let’s begin with our Base color map. Connect our Color or Vraydiffusefilter bake output to our Base Color Map pin of the material.

B. Roughness: Now connect our Roughness or VrayRoughnessMap bake output to our Roughness Map pin of the material.

C. Metalness: Now connect our Metalness or VrayMetalnessMap bake output to our Metalness Map pin of the material.

D. Normal: Now connect our Normals or VRayNormalsMap bake output to our Bump Map pin of the material.

5. Apply Material to Mesh: Now that our textures have been linked to the material, we are ready to apply the material to the mesh. With our desired mesh selected right click on the material and select “Assign Material to Selection”.

6. Repeat Material Creation and Application: Now we must create materials, connect the rest of the bake outputs, and apply the materials to the remaining mesh components.

Export

After applying our materials, we are ready to export as a glb via the Babylon 3DSMax Exporter plugin. Reference our export guidelines here.

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