3ds Max FBX Export

Help and Tips for Making New Meshes
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3ds Max FBX Export

Post by Nums » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:27 pm

For now I'm not calling this a guide as I'm still learning and experimenting myself, it's more of a note taking place for myself. However others of course may look at my notes and comment in if they wish.

Steps to Export from 3ds Max into IMVU using FBX
Version of 3ds Max used: 2016

Getting Setup

First things first, there is one very big thing you must change about the default avatar to set this up to work correctly.
Note: This is only necessary if you wish to use things that require the default skeleton

• Select either the Female03MasterRoot or the Pelvis Node

• Go to your Animation Tab, then select Bone Tools

• In Bone Properties, you need to check the box, Bone On

• Do this for both Female03MasterRoot and the Pelvis Node

And that's it.

Mesh, Animation , Morph and Skeleton Preparation

To get these set up for the most part is easier than ever. (except one final thing apparently, which I have yet to get working properly)

Example Stack

Your geometry must be an Editable Mesh or Editable Poly
If your geometry is a Deformable GPoly or Editable Patch, the Skin and Morph may be lost (usually just the morph)
Physique may not work ?

Skeleton (IMPORTANT)
Any non bones (ie: Dummy Nodes) must either be Skinned to the mesh itself, or have its Bone properties turned, On, to be recognized.
Note: CAT Bones seem to be a struggle for some versions of Max to export

Just have an animation I guess?

There is no longer a need to link your morph targets to your base mesh. This is an obsolete step.
Also I have currently not once reset the Xform either. I believe this to be an obsolete step as well.
Simply have a Morpher Modifier on your stack with loaded morph targets

To any Mesh Head makers. You will absolutely want to use FBX to create your heads.

Currently, exporting the actual .XPF separate using IMVU exporters actually will work with your FBX mesh.

Export or Export Selected


Note: It does not matter what frame you export on!

I prefer Export Selected because the Export option will normally throw errors due to the default avatar's skeleton and it typically takes a bit longer to export. However, the errors it throws in a lot of cases are irrelevant.

Export Selected
To use this, you must select EVERYTHING you wish to export. If it's not selected, it's not getting exported. Very quick to export. Any errors thrown should be read.
I exported a 100 Morph Target Mesh in a little over a second.

This will simply export everything, making the FBX rather large, time consuming to export, and IMVU itself takes awhile to read the file. Will most likely throw a lot of errors, as the Default File contains many things the FBX export doesn't like.

FBX Export

My default presets (animation time may vary)



Smoothing Groups
Surprisingly, if you want your smoothing groups to be exported, do not check this box. (perhaps it's just me lol?)

Split per-vertex Normals
Throws an error, I don't use it

Tangents and Binormals
Perhaps something to do with normal mapping. In which case you wouldn't use.

PLEASE DON'T USE. Most peoples meshes probably already far exceed a normal polygon limit.

Preserve Instances
I believe you won't use this for IMVU

Selection Sets
I believe you won't use this for IMVU

Convert Deforming Dummies to Bones
Check this if you are trying to use Dummy Nodes as bones

I believe this isn't needed

Preserve Edge Orientation



To export Animations, Morphs, Meshes, you must check this.

Use Scene Name
Will name your Animation and Morph file names in IMVU to the name of your 3ds Max file

Remove Single Key

Bake Animation
Check if you want to record skeletal animation

The time in which it will record the keyframes

1 Step will record a keyframe every single keyframe
2 Steps will record a keyframe every other keyframe
3 Steps will record a keyframe every 3 keyframes
and so on...

Resample All
Very important
It's hard to explain what this does as I don't know fully myself, but usually it would seem you want this checked. Here's an example of it at work, but I know it does much more than just this.

Example Animation in 3ds Max

Resample All: OFF

Resample All: ON

Check this if you want to export a Mesh or Morph

Check if exporting something with a Skin Modifier

Check if exporting something with Morphs


"Selecting everything I want to export every time is very time consuming!"

Use your selection sets to create a selection of everything you wish to export. Just type in the box and press enter, with everything selected that you wish to be in the set, and it will create one.

Everything else about the exporter seems pretty irrelevant to export correctly for the time being

I'll make a video soon on the process of this.

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