Exporting 3D DWF Files
Command entry: Application menu Export Export to DWF
Command entry: Application menu Export Choose Publish To DWF from the Save As Type drop-down list.

With 3D DWF publishing, you can export Design Web Format™ (.DWF™) files of your three-dimensional models with nearly the same visual fidelity as in rendered scenes. DWF files are highly compressed. You can share them easily with team members who might not have 3ds Max.

DWF files are easy to publish and view on the Web using the Autodesk Design Review program, included with 3ds Max.

DWF also provides a fast way to view models without having to spend time animating and rendering them, because you can use the Orbit feature in the DWF viewer to fly around the model.

For example, a DWF file of your scene can allow you and others to quickly view an interactive model as well as the properties of each object.

Recipients of 3D DWF files can view and print them using Autodesk® Design Review, which is an optional part of the 3ds Max install program. For more information about using the viewer, see the Autodesk Design Review help system.

Feature Support with 3D DWF Export

Limitations of 3D DWF Export

Materials and Environments


Cameras and Animation


To export a 3D DWF file:

  1. Set up the scene in the active viewport as you want it displayed in the Autodesk Design Review program.

    If you want to publish particular objects or layers, make a selection set of those objects. Hide those objects or layers you do not want published.

    NoteYou can also isolate objects in the viewer you want to hide or make transparent.
    TipIf you have a camera in the scene and want that view exported, make sure the Camera viewport is active when you publish the DWF file.
  2. Choose Application menu Export Export To DWF.

    You can also simply choose Export, and then choose Publish To DWF (*.DWF) from the Save As Type list in the file selector dialog.

  3. Specify a file name to export.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Use the DWF Publish Options dialog to make the desired settings, and then click OK.
  6. If you turn on Save Log file but do not want the existing log file to be overwritten, enter a new name or specify a different folder.


Grouping Options group

Group by Object

When on, objects are listed on the Navigator Pane in Design Review by object name or group name.

Group by Layer

When on, objects are grouped on the Navigator Pane of Design Review by their respective layers.

Publishing Options group

Publish Object Properties

When on, object property data is exported and displayed in Design Review and reported in the log file if Save Log File is enabled. The displayed properties are name, layer name, face count, vertex count, and whether the object is frozen or hidden.

Publish Materials

Exports objects with their assigned materials in Design Review. When off, exports objects in their basic object colors. Material names are not exported.

Publish Selected Objects Only

Exports only objects that are selected when you export.

Publish Hidden Objects

Hidden objects are exported and displayed in the viewer. When off, objects that are hidden or on layers that are hidden do not appear. Hidden objects are listed in the log file if Save Log File is enabled.

NoteFrozen objects and frozen layers are exported.

General group

Show DWF in a Viewer

When on, Autodesk Design Review automatically opens the exported DWF file. When off, you must run Design Review and open the file manually.

Rescale Bitmaps

When on, bitmap textures are automatically rescaled in the DWF file to the size set for pixels for Maximum Resolution. When using large texture files, turn this on to reduce the DWF file size.

NoteThis setting has no effect when Publish Materials is off.
Maximum Resolution (pixels)

Sets the maximum length, in pixels, of the longest edge of all the bitmap images that are used as textures.

NoteAll bitmap images exported to the DWF file are compressed to JPG format in order to create small DWF files.
Use Default DWF Lights

Lets you control whether Design Review adds its own default lighting. When turned off, the scene is displayed without lights in the viewer, which can result in the scene objects being flat shaded making them appear two dimensional. Turn Use Default DWF Lights off if the scene contains lights that are already baked into textures with Render to Texture, otherwise it is recommended that DWF lights are used. Default=on.

NoteWhen exporting a scene with all the lighting baked into the texture maps after using Render to Texture, if Use Default DWF Lights is turned on the scene may actually appear darker in Design Review, and the built-in DWF lights will cause the scene lighting to change as you orbit around the objects in the scene. With it turned off, the lighting will be constant as you move through the scene.
Save Log File

When enabled, 3ds Max creates a text file with the .log file extension that lists objects, their layers, face and vertex counts that are exported as well as the time and date of the export. Objects that were not selected or hidden are also listed as not as not being exported. The log file is overwritten each time a DWF file is created unless the log file name or file location is changed. Default=on.