Using 3ds Max 2012, I've been able to use the "render to texture" function to successfully bake my lighting. The only problem is that these image files are always output to TGA files. I need PNG files. If I select all of my objects I want to bake, the option button with [...] that opens up the "file name and type" selection menu is GREYED OUT.

If I select ONE object and try to export only that one object then the "file name and type" menu becomes clickable and I can select my file type. But when I click "render" I get an error message "The following nodes output to invalid directories and will not be rendered" with my one object listed below and it's output directory which is "sceneassets\images"

What am I doing wrong here?

Thank you.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Couldn't you just export to a TGA file and then convert it? I know it's an extra step, but it would be easier. On the other hand, if it's needed for a game you're making (after all, it is GD.SE), then you could just parse a TGA file - it's actually really simple to do. But if it's for something else, not related to your own game (or indeed, even if it is related to your own game), this is a question best asked on the 3DS Max Forums. \$\endgroup\$
    – Polar
    Mar 22, 2013 at 16:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In my case I'm developing a model for a 3rd party engine that needs PNG textures. How are you proposing I convert my model, is there some kind of conversion tool? \$\endgroup\$
    – uberdanzik
    Mar 22, 2013 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, wasn't expecting that situation. Presuming that you can't change the engine, are you certain that you can't just convert the textures? If it uses UV-mapping, then texels are texels and it doesn't matter whether the model says TGA or PNG - the model doesn't need to know the format of the textures. Best to treat the textures independently. \$\endgroup\$
    – Polar
    Mar 23, 2013 at 7:49

1 Answer 1


I know this is a couple years late but maybe someone searching for a solution will come across this.

So in order to change the "Default" file type assigned to new Output Elements created in Render to Texture, you can do the following.

1 MaxScript > Open Script

2 Navigate to the MacroScripts folder in you installation directory

3 Open "Macro_BakeTextures.mcr"

4 Change the filetype in the following line to the filetype you want. (line 87 for max 2014)

local   defaultFileType = ".tga" -- default bitmap file extension  

5 Save the macroscript and restart 3D Studio Max.

Note that this does not change exisiting Output Elements.


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