3DS Format

I have made a 3DS file loader It gets the geometry fine for most objects however when I try to get the texture coordinates of any
thing other that a cube they are not found or the file loads nothing at all( not even the geometry that is loaded fine if the object had no
texture defined). I believe this is is because the 3DS output from MAX r3 is a newer format then the one described by Jim Pitts and redone by Martin van Velsen, So my question is dose any one know of a newer document that describes the 3DS format generated by MAX r3


To my experience MAX3 exports regular 3DS, problem is somewhere in your code. better check a better description of the format, personally I would recommend the one from Digisnap included with Spotlight! 64k intro, it can be obtained from:


I’d try a lot of time to load those damned uv map coord from .3ds files generated by 3dsmaxR3 until the day i read in the 3dsmaxR3 help documentation that it dont export the texture maping coordonate when exporting to 3ds.And a proof of this is that when i load a 3dsmaxr3 3ds file with polytrans or other 3d softwar it never appear maped. My solution was to use the ASE file export format witch contain about everything.
hope this help you!

Hi there
I am developing a .3ds-Loader too.
Are you sure there are problems with the texture-Coords? In my Ascii-debug I can see the chunk and there is data, but I didn’t make the Code for the geometrie, so I do not know if these are the correct Coords. But why asks me MAX3 for preserving the MAX Coords, when it do not export them?

Thanks for all the help, I never did figure it out I just converted all my modles to md3 wich seems easer to work with (I did not need all the complex stuff in 3ds files anyway just gemorty, tex coors and some simple anamation).

[This message has been edited by Validus (edited 07-11-2000).]

I have personally implimented a 3ds file reader that we use at work on a daily basis. I can assuer you that the 3ds files do hold U V texture coordinates. They even hold U and V offsets and a W angle to rotate the texture coordinates on and U and V scaling information. All the .3ds files we use are generated with MAX. I didn’t notice that even MAX doesn’t read them back in right but saves them out correctly

I was very surprised discovering a notice in the MAX3 help files explaining that MAX3 does not export UV coordinates into .3DS files.

Thats funny because like I said before we have been using them here at work for quite a while. If you reload a 3ds file back into max you can’t see the textures because you have to go into the material editor and turn on the map by selecting; “Show Bitmap in viewport.” Once you do that you will see your textures with the UV coordinates preserved. If you still want to know how to load the UV texture coordinates in a .3ds file, e-mail me and I will send you code that can.

Hi there…

i usually work with Delphi. and i’m getting
a lot of white hairs in my almost 20 year head…

so, i`m asking to a good soul to show me some source code, i really like if the code was in Delphi.

Anyway thanx a lot…


sorry about my poor english

1.) Texture Coords
2.) Delphi Code
3.) Misc

  1. Texture Coords
    Texture Coords are saved. End of story.
    The save function also asks you. Maybe
    you have a strange bug.

  2. Delphi Code -

    I found this when searching for 3ds
    keyframing source. I dont do delphi
    anymore, but it seems rather good.
    It does use ( I think ) the 3ds ftk
    library, but have a go.

  3. For those interested in exporting or
    importing .3ds files, get the ftk
    from kinetix ftp site. That should
    do the trick.

Marcus “Cruxis” Lenngren - Nopp