During discussion with a ModelConverterX user recently the subject of being able to import the objects into GMax or 3DS Max came up. If you want to continue editing your work that is indeed something that would be very useful. Now I did take a look at the 3DS format and it seems very well possible to write an exporter for it. Actually in about one evening I already made the base of it. Below you see a screenshot of a museum object that I imported into GMax from a 3DS file exported with ModelConverterX. As you see the materials are not yet there, as I have no written them to the 3DS file yet, but the geometry is getting through very well already.
In the next few days I hope to extend the writer further to also include the materials and other more advanced features. Of course an export-import process like this will never be perfect. For example the original parts that you had in your modelling tool will not always appear when importing in GMax. That is simply because this kind of information might not be stored in the API or MDL file that you imported. But at least it might be better than starting completely from scratch, especially if you only want to make some minor changes.
One other issue I am thinking about is the more legal part, as this would allow people must easier to edit other people’s work. That might give a copyright problem, although it is always the question if the user or the tool is to blame for that. At least it is something that we have to be aware of.
But in total I am quite enthusiastic about this, it might even help us to get our models out of GMax when that tool is no longer supported for FS in the future. By being able to write in a common format as 3DS the way to import into other tools is a bit more open.