I have just added a new importer to ModelConverterX. From the next development release you will also be able to import files in the 3DS format. Below is a quick overview of what is supported and what the limitations are:
- Geometry and texture mapping is read
- The 3DS format does not store the normals of the object, so after import they might be slightly different. Although the library I use to import has a feature to reconstruct the normals for smooth objects. That seems to work quite well.
- Animations are supported. But the special FSX tagging for animations is stored as a user property and those are not written to the 3DS file. So that information can not be imported either.
- I have tried to map the different material settings that the 3DS format supports to the FSX material as well as possible. But the 3DS file can not store the FSX specific settings.
- Another limitation of the 3DS format is that texture names are stored in the old DOS way. So that means only 8.3 characters are available. Any longer texture name will be truncated. So when importing from 3DS you might want to double check your texture names.
By implementing this new reader and especially the animation part, I have learned a lot about how animations are stored in the 3DS format. So my next update will be for the 3DS export functionality of ModelConverterX. I want to add support to export animations to that as well.