Automating 3Ds Max export to Unreal Datasmith using Python

  1. Geometry is exported as a hierarchy, rather than just a single actor. If you have 100 distinct components, you have each component as a single actor, rather than 100 material slots named “Element 0” to “Element 99”. This opens a door for further post-processing, such as automatically assigning materials based on actor name
  2. Animation is exported as Level Sequence.
  1. The exporter AFAIK does not support deformations in alembic cache. Only transformations are exported into a level sequence. This stands to reason since Geometry cache is still experimental in Unreal (as of 4.26.1).
  2. Some animations might not translate 1:1. We have experienced some “jaggedness” when exporting to Unreal. Be sure that the animation looks alright with “Realtime” turned on in the Max, before sending it in Unreal.
  3. 3Ds Max — from programmer's standpoint, Max has awful documentation about Python API and API itself is not great. 2020 version still comes with Python 2, but this should be fixed already with the 2021 version.
"D:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2020\3dsmax.exe" -q -silent -mip -mxs "quitMAX() #nopromptfile.max" -u PythonHost "C:\Users\filip\Documents\3ds Max 2020\export\export_datasmith.py"

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