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Converting FSDS files to 3DS or Gmax

Hi Guys!

Just wanted to ask if there's anything new like the good old CVA Converter to convert FSDS files to 3DS or Gmax? Maybe some tool that can even convert the material/texture assignments?

Maybe you can use the new FSDS3, import your old stuff and make an X-file. (Never tried if FSDS can handle this, but as far as I know it uses the MKMDL now). This X-file you can convert with DeepExploration to 3dmax/gmax.
(Everything is just a guess, not a solution because I never tried it myself)

Sonst bau den alten Kram doch einfach neu :D

If this will work please give me some info!
I would be interested in doing some movements on this topic
Yes, I am very interested in that approach as well, as I still have some old creations that I would like to convert easily :). So if anybody has really tried this approach, please let us know.
I´ll check that method as I have also lots of old FSDS building etc.
I´ll let you know soon. Just have to reinstall the "old stuff".

I've had some limited success going the x file->Deep Exploration->3DS route into gmax. Some parts came through, others, just an outline, but I haven't pursued the various combinations.
I have had some luck with non animated scenery objects going from FSDS2 to gMax by making a CFS2 *.sca file from the project, then importing into gMax using the SCASM import script. Parts are displaced due to the TransformMat and have to be relocated but this method preserves texture coords.

just wanted to report my testings: It worked fine for me to import old FSDS stuff into FSDS3. Then I made an x-file and opened it with DeepExploration Standard and saved it as an *.max file. The shape (mesh) was perfect and the materials were also present. BUT: Seems like the UVW texturing information is lost. You cannot see the textures on the model in Deep Exploration and max. But materials and assignments are still there. So you just have to redefine the UVW mappings in max and make some changes in the materials (glossiness, shader..). For Gmax you must save it as a 3ds file, I have not tested that issue.
Hi Thorsten,

If the texture mapping gets lost, is it not easier to use the DXF export tool for FSDS (CVA Converter)? These DXF files can directly be imported into GMax. The main problem with then is loosing the texture mapping, but your work around seems to have that problem as well and involve more work :).
Hi Arno,

yes, the DXF export will work, but only for FSDS 1.6 objects. For FSDS2 is no DXF exporter available (as far as I know). And: When exporting DXF you completely loose your materials. Using my way you keep the materials so you just have to use the "Unwrap UVW" tool in max and define the UVW shape.
I do not really understand why the X-file of FSDS3 keeps the materials(shininess, texture, color etc) but not the texture coordinates. Maybe I can fiddle it out. I attached a x-file from a terminal building. As this is just ASCII text, maybe someone more familiar with DirextX could have a look into the text to see why texture coordinates are lost? (terminal20.x renamed to terminal20.txt)



  • terminal20.txt
    219.2 KB · Views: 583

When you export from gMax to X, you need to have your texture files in the same directory as the X file. Paths are not saved in an X file, only the file name.

This is also probably why you are not getting the textures in your 3ds conversions so you need to make sure the settings in Deep Exploration are right when you convert.


The file above has the same scene in several formats: FSDS2, SCASM exported from FSDS2, Imported into gMax, exported to X, converted to 3ds, and finally the 3dsMax4 file. Unzip this file to C:\gmax\gamepacks\FS2002\scenes\DS_sign

Hi Lou,

I had (have) the textures within the same directory. But I exported from FSDS3 not Gmax via middleman. Maybe that could be the difference. You X-file looks very different to the one that FSDS is exporting. And I do not know a way to export an X file from FSDS (1.6, 2, 3) via Middleman. Or am I wrong?

Uuups, long time ago I searched for a new exporter. Didn´t know that new one. Thanx.

Hi Thorsten,

The texture coordinates must be in the X file, else MakeMDL can not create your object either. So it must be somewhere further down the conversion road that things get lost.

And no, I have never heard of a way to get X files out of FSDS1 or FSDS2 (except from loading the files into FSDS3 of course).

Since moving on to gMax from FSDS1 when FS2002 came out, I don't use it much, but I did get FSDS2 when it came out so I can still deal with those formats. I do not have FSDS3, so I can not tell what export features it has. As I mentioned before, FSDS2 can be set for different sims, FS2000, CFS2, and FS2002/FS2004. If I have a project I want to move from FSDS1 or FSDS2, I use FSDS2 with it set for CFS2 (I imagine the FS2002/FS2004 setting will work also). I make sure that ALL parts in the FSDS file have their axis at 0,0,0 as this overcomes the problem of parts being displaced due to the TransformMat commands, and then File > Create FS Object File > SCASM Source File (.sca). This makes a file that is quite similar to the ASM code using Texture_List, Vertex_Def (which includes the FP texture mappings) and Draw_Tri commands.

Next I run gMax and use the SCASM Source Import script to import the *.sca file I exported from FSDS2. This builds the mesh much like importing a *.dxf file BUT the mappings ARE intact. Then all I have to do is build the Materials/Multi-materials in gMax and assign them to their respective parts BUT I do not have to remap, they just show up as they should. Then I can move on to other things in gMax or I can now export to an X file if I want to go on to 3dsMax if necessary via Deep Exploration and convert the *.X file from gMax to a *.3ds file and then import that in to 3dsMax. Again, the texture mapping are preserved all the way thru, but I just have to go thru the process of assigning the materials just as in gMax.

Hi Lou,

Thanx, now I understand how you manage the import/export. I thought it would be much easier with FSDS3 creating an x-file but your way seems also very practicable. Just one question: You mean that "SCASM_source_import.ms from 2003? Or is there a more recent version?


That is correct. It is the only version I have found and seems to work with just about any SCASM source with drawing code I feed it. Sometimes I have to edit the source a bit and remove "white space" (tabs, extra spaces and carriage returns) and it only works for texture coords with the later style code.

Need Help

Hy Guys, I'm a newbe and i'm much interesting in converting a file to rework it in 3dsMax I've got only FSDS V.3 but I never used it after all I 'don't need to edit the file for FS2004 I only need to extract the 3d for other...
There's somebody that would extract it for me? I've just tryed to do exporting in .x but I've got only an old 3d exploration not the new suite Deep Explration and I could see only a part of the entire subject.
Th Firestriker way seems good but much complex than i can do....

With my excuses for my very poor english language,

Cheers, yours Maurizio.