File Formats for loading 3D files

I have just started writing an OpenGL program in c++ that will hopefully use existing 3D Max Studio files from looking around it looks as if the 3DS or ASE file formats are the best to use. Basically initially all I want is a list of point and a list on pannels (triangles) and the colour of the points of pannels.

Which format is the best to use?

Which format will give me the info I need?


Simon for clean VC++ with MFC that loads 3DS files.

So are 3DS files the way to go instead of ASE files?


Spock: “As with all living things, each according to his gifts, Captain.”

You’ll find many free meshes on the Web to be either 3DS or native MAX format; rarely ASE.

Lastly, if it’s the text readability of ASE you need, be aware there are several excellent 3DS dump routines available (Opener, Dump3DS) that allow you to decode the 3DS mesh file contents at various levels of verbosity.

Where does the colour information come from in the ASE file format?


I have 3DS MAX Studio so I can load the 3DS files and export them as ASE files.