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3DS Max Conversion question: 3DSMAX v. 8.0 model with FSX materials to 3DSMAX v2023

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ca-ontario
Hi all,

I am trying to open a "normal" 3DS MAX v8.0 model with FSX materials (which is working perfectly fine with the FSX tools) in 3DSMAX 2023 and then on to converting FSX materials to FS2020 materials. When I try to load the file, I first get:
1710355161042.png

... which, I am assuming, is a warning that my original file was 3DSMAX 8, and it needs to be saved to the current version:, and then I get:
1710355215754.png

Which looks understandable, as FlightSimX material is not recognized (along with some MentalRay attribute). If I click "Convert Scene", I get my object, but all the FSX materials are converted to "Standard Surface" materials, and all the texture references are gone - wiped.

So, next, in the MSFS2020 FlightSim menu, I tried choosing "Material Tools -> Standard Material => FlightSim Materials" option, but then it looks like 3DS script crashes - it looks as if it crashes because ( seemingly) there is no diffuse map defined in this case:

Code:
if mat.diffuseMap!= undefined then new_FSmat.basecolorTex = mat.diffuseMap.fileName

So - What am I doing wrong? Is there a better way to go from the FSX materials to MSFS2020 materials, inside 3DSMAX?
 
If you still have a Max version compatible with the FSX tools installed I'd first convert all materials to standard materials compatible with the default scanline renderer prior to opening them with Max 2023.
That's how I usually end up converting my older files.
 
If you still have a Max version compatible with the FSX tools installed I'd first convert all materials to standard materials compatible with the default scanline renderer prior to opening them with Max 2023.
That's how I usually end up converting my older files.
Aha, ok, that's good to know. Yes, I do, I kept Max8 working just for this contingency. This will be a bit of a pain, because converting back to standard materials, I will have to re-specify the maps for the materials, correct?

That's unfortunate - this will take a bit of doing.
 
So - What am I doing wrong? Is there a better way to go from the FSX materials to MSFS2020 materials, inside 3DSMAX?
If I click "Convert Scene", I get my object, but all the FSX materials are converted to "Standard Surface" materials, and all the texture references are gone - wiped.

You can just keep importing it without converting. The DA62 sample project is also this way, try it.
 
You can just keep importing it without converting. The DA62 sample project is also this way, try it.
Thanks Rick,

Yeah, unfortunately, this appears not to be the case. DA62 seems to be Max2019 file, created with MSFS2020 materials already... All I get is a warning about an "obsolete file format - please re-save", which is due to the Max2019 to Max2023 transition, and the model loads fine, with MSFS2020 materials. No material conversion happened, or was needed... Both Exterior and Interior models...
 
You will have to rebuild your materials for msfs anyway so I just drop in the diffuse texture into the temporary standard material just so I can recognise the material after conversion.
Might not be the smartest method but it's save.
 
You will have to rebuild your materials for msfs anyway so I just drop in the diffuse texture into the temporary standard material just so I can recognise the material after conversion.
Might not be the smartest method but it's save.
Right! I worked out a "system", I extract all the FSX material diffuse textures (not materials) into material slots in the same order they are indexed in the FSX multi-material (composite), and build a composite "standard" material in the same indexing order. Still laborious, but doable. Thanks for clearing it up!
 
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