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I am looking for a way to import my 3D models (including materials and shaders) from 3D Studio Max to XNA.

For example, if I have a model with diffuse, bump, reflection textures and values (through Max's basic shader), I want to be able to present it in real-time using the XNA framework.

I thought about doing it like this:

  1. 3D Studio Max -> ASCII FBX export.
  2. Parse FBX and extract bump/reflection/et cetera textures.
  3. Set up a custom HLSL shader and pass the relevant parameters to it.

Is this the correct way to do it?

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I would export from Max into a format that XNA can already handle (such as FBX), parsing out any data not normally handled by XNA and handling it manually. Essentially this is exactly the process you put forth, so yes, that is a reasonable approach.

You may also be interested in the work Tim Jones did back in 2010 to create content importers for XNA that supported 3DS (and other) formats. The code is available here via his GitHub account.

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