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I've been having some trouble with MD5 meshes exported from 3DS Max into my C++ program, using Assimp to import the model and its skeletal animation. If the models were rigged manually with bones, the export and animations work perfectly, but if they were rigged as a biped character, the animation hits a "deadly import error" and all the bones appear to get smooshed together into a big pile. This seems like it might just be a limitation of the MD5 exporter (we're currently using the one found here.

Our plan is to try out a different MD5 exporter (this one), and if that still has problems, then try switching from MD5 to COLLADA.

Our modeler won't be able to make time to try out these other exporters for a few days, so in the meantime I wanted to see if there were any better methods out there for getting biped rigged models from 3DS Max into our app via Assimp. Out of Assimp's supported formats, I need to figure out which will support the following:

  • Skeletal animations
  • Exportable from 3DS Max biped rigged models

Failing that, an alternative would be a way to convert a biped character to its corresponding bones before exporting. We did find one script to do that, but it only seems meant as a starting point for modeling -- it doesn't carry over any hierarchy, skinning, or animation -- so it can't be used solely during export.

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Unfortunately, "which technology to use" questions are not a good fit for a Q/A site. They're essentially poll questions. However, perhaps we can solve the problem that's causing you to seek an alternative. Can you explain the differences between "rigged entirely with bones" and "rigged as a biped"? –  Byte56 Jun 24 '13 at 21:11
    
I hadn't thought of it as a polling type of question, but I see your point. I can try to clarify our requirements more -- it's less that I want an opinion, and more that I want to know which formats even are meant for what we're doing. As for biped vs. bones, the characters can be rigged inside 3DS Max either as biped (higher level, humanoid constrained movements) or as bones (less constrained, more manual effort in animation). Biped is a huge time saver, but the exporter we're using doesn't seem to know how to convert its skeletal animations correctly. –  Doug Kavendek Jun 24 '13 at 21:29
    
Interesting. Is there a way to convert the biped skeleton into bones? Clarifying would make for a better question. –  Byte56 Jun 24 '13 at 21:31
    
We did find a script that converts biped to bones inside 3ds before exporting, but I need to dig that back up to remember what exactly went wrong. I'll update the question once I do. –  Doug Kavendek Jun 24 '13 at 21:46

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