You can set up 3D scenes and animations in 3ds Max, and then export them in Shockwave 3D (W3D) format for use in interactive presentations in Macromedia Director. To start
this process, choose Application menu Export, and choose Shockwave 3D Scene Export (*.W3D) as the file type. Choosing this format opens the Shockwave 3D Scene Export Options dialog.
The Shockwave exporter in 3ds Max offers significant differences from the 3ds Max exporter previously available from Macromedia. When you prepare a scene for
exporting to Director, please be aware of the following:
- Bones require special consideration when being exported to Shockwave 3D format. See “Exporting Bones” below.
- Hidden objects are not exported. However, bones are exported whether hidden or not.
- The exporter supports specular lighting for light sources with Specular turned on in the General Parameters rollout Affect Surfaces group.
- Some types of mapping distort or disappear on export. Whenever possible, use Multi/Sub-Object materials rather than maps.
The exporter supports character animation using bones and the Skin modifier, or a character studio® biped with the Physique® modifier. Bones are exported not as geometry, but as Shockwave 3D bones.
If the bones deform a mesh with the Skin modifier, the scene must be arranged in a specific manner to cause the bones and
mesh to export properly:
- All bones for each mesh object must be linked, and linked contiguously. In other words, each bone must link to another bone,
with one bone acting as the root for the entire hierarchy.
- You'll get the best results if all bones are created in the same viewport, and bones are created individually (not copied
- All vertices in the skinned mesh must be assigned to at least one bone, even if they constitute a part of the mesh that isn't
animated. Otherwise, the mesh will distort on export.
- You must group the bones and the skinned mesh with the Group menu Group command prior to export. If you have more than one set of bones with skinned meshes, create a separate group for each.
- You can also export animation on IK chains and dummy objects. These objects must be grouped with the skin and bones to export
For more tips on working with bones animation and the Shockwave 3D Exporter, visit the Macromedia Web site. Also, search the Macromedia site for “bones shockwave export” (without the quotes).