Johnny’s Workshop

May 24, 2008

SMD Importer for 3ds Max 9

Filed under: 3ds Max 9,Tutorials — april15th @ 10:08 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Every so often, I like to examine the ‘Search Engine Terms’ listed amongst my Blog Stats to learn which keywords are bringing people here. I know from months of doing so that most visitors will leave within seconds, annoyed that this blog didn’t include the information they wanted. For example, I have not written, nor will I ever write, a tutorial on how to create cotton candy using 3ds Max. Sorry, that guy. Try modelling a funnelcake instead.

Not everyone will navigate away from here disappointed, though.

At least once a day, someone visits in hopes of finding an SMD Importer for 3ds Max 9. My tutorial for Importing Half-Life 2 models into 3ds Max included the associated keywords but at the time of writing that tutorial, I was not aware of the existence of a functional SMD Importer for any version of 3ds Max beyond 6/7/8.

Well, there IS an SMD Importer for 3ds Max 9.

In retrospect, I should have written this post the very moment I learned of the Importer’s existence but I figured people would find it with or without my help, so I never bothered. I do, however, suffer minor feelings of guilt every time something like ‘smd importer 3ds max 9’ appears in my list of Search Engine Terms, so I thought I’d write this post and amend my tutorial.

You can download the SMD Importer / Exporter for 3ds Max 9 from HERE and read about it HERE.

At last, “do a good deed” can be scratched from my list of goals for 2008.

I’ve tested the Importer using 3ds Max 9 and it does work as both an Importer and Exporter, so ignore anyone who insists it only functions as the latter. They’re either using a different version of 3ds Max or they haven’t installed the Importer according to the (fairly straightforward) instructions provided in the download’s SMDImporter-Readme.html file.

Look, here’s a test I did five minutes ago:

Doesn’t work as an Importer, huh? Well, explain that, professor … with all your PRECIOUS SCIENCE.



  1. […] 3ds Max 6/7/8 | (There is an SMD Importer for 3ds Max 9, too. Visit THIS post for the […]

    Pingback by Getting Half-Life 2 Models Into 3ds Max « Johnny’s Workshop — May 24, 2008 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  2. Hey, wouldn’t that be cool if you could use 3ds Max to actually MAKE a funnel cake?? Funnel cake is totally awesome!!!! Make me some right NOW, goddammit!

    Comment by Sheri — May 24, 2008 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

  3. Still waiting on those funnel cakes!! *drums fingers impatiently*…

    Comment by Sheri — May 25, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

  4. wow thanks so much for this, for some reason I couldnt find a importer for 9 no matter how hard i looked. saved me the trouble of trying to find someone with 8 to import some models

    Comment by Auto — May 26, 2008 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  5. You’re welcome! I remember having a hard time finding it myself, so I liked the idea of being able to save people the time and trouble of searching all over the place.

    Comment by april15th — May 27, 2008 @ 12:57 am | Reply

  6. The download link is dead “I think”. This is what is said when I clicked download link.

    Warning: require(/home/fpsb/inc/includes/setup/tuts/download.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/fpsb/public_html/tools/download.banana on line 7

    Fatal error: require() [function.require]: Failed opening required ‘/home/fpsb/inc/includes/setup/tuts/download.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php’) in /home/fpsb/public_html/tools/download.banana on line 7

    I tried cut/paste it inot this ( but didn’t work. WTF lol -.-

    Comment by Rueal — July 12, 2008 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  7. Weird. The link to the Info page still works but the link to the file itself seems to be dead. Thanks for the notification, Rueal!

    I’ve now uploaded the SMD Importer / Exporter as a .zip archive. You can get it via my FileFront account by clicking HERE.

    Comment by april15th — July 12, 2008 @ 3:37 am | Reply

  8. Thank you! I’ve been searching for an SMD Importer for ages, and here’s one that finally works. You’re a great deal of help, thanks!

    Comment by Will — July 23, 2008 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  9. Uh, downloaded it, but I can’t find an Import SMD button like it says in the readme.

    Comment by Asdf_man — July 23, 2008 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

  10. Fixed previous problem. How do I get textures?

    Comment by Asdf_man — July 23, 2008 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  11. You’re welcome, Will!

    To get the textures, you need to extract the relevant model’s files from the “source materials.gcf” file, as per my tutorial – available HERE.

    Once the files have been extracted and converted from .vtf format to .tga, simply open up the Material Editor in 3ds Max and, with the model selected, apply the relevant .tga files as Diffuse maps, Normal maps, etc.

    Comment by april15th — July 25, 2008 @ 3:35 am | Reply

  12. Importer sort of functions in theory – the model is imported as a bunch of unwelded poly’s, so smoothing is completely fucked as is until you re-weld the model.

    Using the imported models with animations is pretty much useless as well as the model is loaded as a bunch of default ‘max bones’ instead of anything useful like character studio bones. With that said, at least you can get the models imported to start with – but don’t expect to be able to do much with them without having to re-rig the model with a real skeletal system like character studio or something.

    Anyways, just my 2 bits of experimentation with this plugin over the past while.

    Also works with 3ds Max 2008 btw.

    Comment by hiro protagonist — August 31, 2008 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  13. I agree; that’s a great summary of this importer, hiro; it’s nowhere near as useful as the one created by Cannonfodder for Max versions 6/7/8.

    For people who are limited to using Max 9, it’s better than nothing but I still find it preferable to keep a copy of Max 8 installed so that I can use the old SMD Importer. I always export the models as .max files, then re-open them in Max 9. Saves having to address all the shortcomings you mentioned.

    (Thanks for the comment, by the way!)

    Comment by april15th — September 2, 2008 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  14. You wouldn’t happen to know of an importer for 2009?

    ~ Shadow

    Comment by Shadow — October 24, 2008 @ 2:55 am | Reply

  15. I’m afraid not, Shadow. If I find one, though, I’ll provide a link on my blog.

    Comment by april15th — November 13, 2008 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  16. Ahah! Finally, a way to export the models to Maya by first saving them in max!–or maybe I’ll just learn max.
    Either way, we’ll see what happens! Maya’s exporter sort of works, but doesn’t give me bones. >_>

    Comment by Ninooka — February 22, 2010 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  17. But where is the download link to the SMD Importer for 3DS Max 6/7/8?
    I cannot locate it
    Sorry for my english

    Comment by Troubled guy — May 5, 2010 @ 5:07 am | Reply

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