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3ds Max BF2 Plugins and Windows 10

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There has long been an issue with getting BF2 plugins to fully work with 64 bit versions of 3ds Max.   There are also issues with getting them to work with newer Operating Systems such as windows 7 & 10.

Autodesk, the parent company of 3ds Max does not support any 32 bit versions on Windows 10 and 32 bit versions have graphic artifact issues with Windows 7 and newer Operating systems (7, 8, 10), even when run in compatibility mode for Win XP and using alternate graphic options.

Project Reality forums have a running thread with updated 3ds Max Plugins which will only partially work on newer versions of 3ds Max.   The big problem is that export will not work properly.

The export functionality uses two helper programs:  sceneparse.exe and BF2Materials.exe.   What I have figured out is that the export process stops when it tries to run sceneparse.exe and BF2Materials.exe.    The 3ds Max plugin script exports the model into  .dat and .mtl files.   Sceneparse and BF2materials then help to convert these into the BF2 model files used by the game.  These tools are located in the scripts folder of 3ds Max.  For the 64 bit version, this is installed under \Program Files which is for 64 bit apps.  That is the main problem, since these helper tools are 32 bit tools and need to run from a 32 bit safe folder, such as under \program files (x86) folder.  The tools will run manually in the \program files ( X86) folder but not under the 64 bit location.    There are probably other 32 bit helper tools with the same issue used with the 3ds Max plugin script.   The solution is to make sure there is a copy in \Program files (x86) and change to the script to run them from there.  

I just don't know 3ds Max script well enough to make those changes yet.

 

Also when sceneparse.exe is run manually from a command line, it provides a tremendous amount of information on the object that is exporting.

 

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Best way to get around Windows 10 protected directories is to install Max to another non-protected directory, the best idea is somewhere in your user's folder or a separate drive (if you have one available - again outside of any directories that are normally protected).

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That may be a  work around for new installs, but Autodesk products are notoriously problematic for trying to reinstall to a different folder.  I will try that out the next time I have a clean system . 

 

I found where the global variable is being set that has the location to the tools folder.

 

The variable is:   

g_bf2ToolsLoc

 

It is set in the plugin folder in bf2_mat_staticmesh2.ms:

if not g_BFisGmax then     g_bf2ToolsLoc = (getDir #scripts) + "\\bf2\\"

What I am thinking is that g_bf2ToolsLoc could be searched for \Program Files\ and if it exists change it to \Program Files (x86)\  

A batch file could be kicked off to copy the tools over to the \Program files (x86) if they don't already exist.  That,  I can handle.

I have scripted in other languages, I just don't know enough about max script.  The 3ds Max help does not have many examples, so it's not exactly easy to follow.   Its also hard finding examples online.

 

 

 

 

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Apparently, I have been overthinking the problem of getting the 64bit versions of 3ds max to export and possibly other functions that use the the 32 bit exe files.

In the folder:

\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max [ver]\Scripts\bf2\bin\release

There are 4 files:
bf2Materials.exe
HMParts.exe
mergeTGAColors.exe
SceneParse.exe

Select properties of each file and set compatibility to XP SP3 for each one.

Now they will run correctly as 32 bits app with the 64 bit version of 3ds Max.

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