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Any future to gmax?

Discussion in 'Modeling' started by ahuimanu, 20 Jun 2007.

  1. ahuimanu


    10 Jun 2005
    I am continuing thoughts that I posted at the end of a "3ds v gmax" thread here.

    I think the future of 3DS max is relatively secure as the platform for developing additional models in Flightsim, however, what is the future of gmax?

    It seems like gmax was included with much ballyhoo and hand-wringing this time around. While I realize that gmax 1.2 was included with RTM, I think its occlusion and elmination in SP1a is portentous of the future of gmax.

    Sure, this is speculative, but if gmax disappears, how can any of us casual/hobbyist modellers have a prayer? I just can't consider a multiple thousand dollar professional modelling title (3DS max) being a viable option.

    We were lucky that Discreet was gracious to extend a hand to budding modellers with gmax - we are not feeling the same love from Autodesk.

    Gmax 1.2 is gettign long in the tooth (although it stills seems every bit as viable). While my own ethics prevent me from doing so: are we been coralled and herded towards using pirated copies of 3DS Max as the only affordable option for freeware/hobbyist add-ons in the future?

    What about Blender?

    I realize that this is somewhat premature as FSX is still under a year old and SP1a is still young. However, there is a project I'd like to start and the part-time nature of this project makes me wonder if I'll be stuck with a red herring if I invest in gmax. Well, it's not like I have a choice... gmax is the only cost-effect LEGAL way for a amateur like myself.
  2. n4gix

    n4gix Resource contributor

    26 Sep 2006
    Just for the record:

    GMax was not included in SP1a for simple reasons: bandwidth, filesize, and availability.

    Considering that one who owns FSX Deluxe DVD's will always have free access to GMax v1.2 (unless they lose or damage the DVD that is), there was absolutely no point in having folks download a program they already have available... :D

    One cannot install the SDK SP1a without first installing the RTM SDK to begin with, so obviously they have access to GMax v1.2 from the FSX DVD...

    Also keep in mind that GMax v1.2 is freely downloadable from http:\\turbosquid.com as is the registration process, again there was no real reason to "bloat" the SP1a download.

    Further, ACES is actively considering their future options, but aren't in a position to make any such ruminations public at this time. Believe me, they KNOW just how important this issue is! :eek:
  3. arno

    arno Administrator Staff Member FSDevConf team Resource contributor

    28 May 2004

    First of all GMax was just removed from SDK SP1A to reduce the download size. You can still download GMax itself from the web, so the removal has nothing to do with its future.

    As Bill already said in the other thread, MS is looking at alternatives for GMax. I am sure they are aware that people making freeware addons can not afford to buy 3DS Max for this.

    For FsX GMax is still officially supported, so I would not really worry for the moment. I would wait and see what tools are officially supported in the next version before I decide to move.

    Blender might indeed be a nice alternative, as it is free and open source. But what if MS comes up with another officially supported tool in the future? Then you will depend on people to make a new Blender plugin. So I would wait and see for the moment.
  4. ahuimanu


    10 Jun 2005
    Thanks for the thoughtful replies guys.

    Roger on the SP1a stuff...

    Still, I think gmax is a dead-end one way or another - it relied heavily on game-packs and it seems that Autodesk really isn't interested in game-packs and the whole concept of gmax.

    I can only hope that some clean conversion process from a .gmax file to the new way will be there in a few years. At my glacial and beginner's pace, I might be finishing my model by then. ;)
  5. FelixFFDS


    30 Sep 2006
    gmax came about for two reasons - to get people to add content to games, and to get them "hooked" on 3DSMax. We've seen people in the flightsim modelling community that started on gmax, and have made the plunge to 3DSMAx.

    Consider that for a gaming company to create the gamepack,they first neeed to buy gmax-dev. (Three copies of 3DSMax can be bought for one of gmax-dev).

    I think that Microsoft/ACES is now very aware of the hobbyist developer. The late release of gmax tools was due more because of talks with Autodesk about using gmax, and making sure that the intermediate file (x-file) could not be intercepted, than "time" to develop the tools.

    For that matter, note that those who get the latest and greates Max9 are out of luck. the FS-X tools only work with Max7/8.

    Personally, I would hope that Microsoft would work with modelling program providers to make their products FS-X compatible (Fr. Bill - yes I'm a hopeless luddite)

    Let's not talk about a glacial beginner's pace. I've had gmax since it came out in FS2002Pro, and ask me how many models have I started, completed and exported to FS<insert version>. I can do a mean shape merge, and boolean the heck out of a part, but .....
  6. decapod


    2 Apr 2007
    We have a similar problem in the MS Train Simulator community where I come from.
    There, gMax was one option of 4 - TSM from Abacus, 3D canvas and Sketchup (for simple models only) are the others.
    With the huge variety of models we require for scenery, it is best for us to have a choice of tools to encourage more modellers.

    I've been working with the 3D canvas author to produce export options for several other train simulators and am working on an export for FSX in preparation for the new MS Train Sim based on the FSX graphics engine.

    With the latest SDK release I'm sure it won't be long before other tools like blender will be available.
    Once I've finished with the 3D Canvas exporter, I'll see what I can do to make sketchup export an X file in the correct format too.


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