How to Import .Max Files Into Blender

By Chris Hoffman

Autodesk's 3DS Max graphics application uses the MAX file format to save 3D scenes on your computer. The open-source Blender 3D modeling program uses different formats and doesn’t provide built-in support for importing MAX files from 3DS Max. Use a third-party script to export a scene from 3DS Max and convert it to a format Blender understands.

Step 1

Go to the 3DS Max Scene Interchange page on the Blender website and click the **Download Latest Version of the Script** link on the page.

Step 2

Extract the files from the "Scene_interchange_blender[version].rar" file you just downloaded to your computer using a file extraction program such as 7-Zip, WinRAR or WinZip.

Step 3

Place the extracted “Scene_interchange.py” script in the “C:\Users\Name\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender [version]\scripts\io” folder on your computer. Change **Name** to your Windows username and **[version]** to the installed version of Blender.

Step 4

Launch 3DS Max on your computer. Click **Open** in the application window and browse to the MAX file on your computer that you want to import into Blender. Double-click this file.

Step 5

Click the **MAXScript** menu at the top of the 3ds Max window, select **Run Script** and browse to the extracted “Blender_INTERCHANGE_ALPHA_2010.mse” file on your computer. Double-click on the file.

Step 6

Click the **Path Output** in the Blender Interchange window that opens and browse to a folder on your computer containing the exported MAX scene.

Step 7

Type a name for the scene into the box at the top of the window and click the **RUN Interchange Blender** button at the bottom of the window.

Step 8

Open Blender, click the **File** menu and select **User Preferences**.

Step 9

Click the **Add-ons** tab at the top of the User Preferences window. Click the **Install Add-on** button at the bottom of the Add-ons pane. Browse for the “Scene_interchange.py” script on your computer and double-click it.

Step 10

Click the **Import Scene** button in the Import Scene section on the Scene panel at the side of the Blender window.

Step 11

Browse to the folder containing your exported MAX scene and double-click the SCN file you created.

Tips & Warnings

  • The script package consists of two components: an exporter extension for 3DS MAX and an import plugin for Blender.