Autodesk 3ds Max Exporters

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Please note that this document is obsolete as of trainz-build 4.5. See HowTo/Export from 3DS Max using FBX instead.


Current Exporters

Auran uses Autodesk 3DS Max for internal modeling needs. At the current time, this is the only Auran-supported tool for creating models for the Trainz environment. Auran supplies exporters for the following Max versions for TS2009, TS2010 and TS12:

  • Max 4
  • Max 5
  • Max 6
  • Max 7
  • Max 8
  • Max 9
  • Max 2008
  • Max 2009
  • Max 2010
  • Max 2011
  • Max 2012

Supported exporters may be downloaded here.

Installing an Exporter

  1. Have a supported version of 3DS Max installed. Have the downloaded exporters archive available. (*)
  2. Unzip or extract the exporters archive to your Desktop or other handy location.
  3. Locate the exporter version to match your version of 3DS Max.
  4. Copy the exporter .DLE file to your 3DS Max plugins folder.

For example. If 3DS Max is installed in

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2012

Copy 'JetExporter.dle' into the plugin folder so it ends up:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2012\plugins\JetExporter.dle

(*) You will also need up-to-date Microsoft Run Time Libraries for the exporter to load and run correctly. Although run time libraries ship with your operating system, they are usually out of date. There is never any harm in updating your libraries, as the installer will simply add the files you are missing. If you don't have a compatible library version installed, the software will not run and you will likely see an ambiguous message like "This application has failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect."

What are Run Time Libraries?

Have you noticed that when you run different Windows applications, they often look similar, with familiar buttons, menus and dialog boxes? That is because they share bits of program in libraries, usually packaged as .DLL files. As time passes, newer versions of these shared libraries are distributed, with the latest version shipping with your operating system at that time. Anyway, you need them, and if you don't have them they are freely available for download from Microsoft:

Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86) (~2.6 MB) Download From Microsoft

Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) (~22.4 MB) Download From Microsoft

Follow the instructions on the web page, but you typically just download the .exe file and run it to update your system.

To test the exporter:

  1. Start 3D Studio (it should load without unusual error messages)
  2. Click File -> Export
  3. Save as type, drop down and select Trainz format (*.IM, *.KIN)

If an error occurs while loading 3D Studio, or the Trainz format save type is not present in the Export dialog, carefully read the installation instructions again and repeat the process. If you have copied the files to the wrong location, carefully check that the file names match those of the Trainz Exporter before deleting those files.

Uninstalling the exporter

  1. Locate the 3DS Max plugin folder
  2. Delete JetExporter.dle

Older versions of the exporter

Auran previously distributed a gmax bundle including a Trainz exporter. The output from this exporter remains compatible with TS2009, however the gmax exporter lacks support for many Trainz features which are considered mandatory for TS2009 content. Auran is unable to provide updated versions of the gmax exporter as the third-party gmax application software has long since been discontinued.

Auran has previously released a Max 3 exporter, however this lacks support for many Trainz features which are considered mandatory for TS2009 content.

To remove older versions of the exporter, locate your plugins folder and remove these files:

  • JetExporter.dle
  • JetExporter\AnimationExport.dll
  • JetExporter\GenericMeshExport.dll
  • JetExporter\IndexedMeshExport.dll
  • JetExporter\ProgressiveMeshExport.dll
  • JetExporter\JetExporter.cfg

Other ways to get models and animations into Trainz

A XML import format is now available, which allows 3D data, potentially from any source to be used in Trainz. For more information, please visit: Trainz Mesh Importer

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