Color-Printing Problems with 3dsmax

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by LKmedia, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. LKmedia
    LKmedia New Member
    I have problems creating a valid model for full color printing in 3D Studio Max even though I follow the guidelines. And since I can't prevent the files from producing errors or just being blank I hope you guys can help me out. It would be highly appreciated if one could write down a detailed(!) max based tutorial for both methods, UV-Mapping, and Per-Face-coloring (can those two be combined?).

    Thanks in advance.
  2. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator

    I'll give it a try ! What max version ?

    As far as I figured it out myself, only uv mapping with texture maps is supported.
    So no direct vertex/face coloring, unless you bake those into a texture before exporting first. (which I did not succeed in yet)

    So currently only one image for the whole UV-map I believe.
    But this is less of restriction than it may seem at first.

    I don't have any "real-world" scenes lying around at the moment.

    If you want, I could try my hand at your model, and send you the intermediate and end result, and use it for the tut ?

  3. LKmedia
    LKmedia New Member
    Hi virtox!
    I use Max 2008 but the general Modeling process didn't change much in the max history so I think there sure will be a common way for most max users.

    The actual model, I was planing on uploading, is not finished yet. I was using a rounded box as a placeholder just for testing out this coloring feature.

    other details of my last try:

    I used a PNG-image to be displayed on the whole mesh.
    I used UVW-planar projection and tilted the gizmo to have a few interesting distortions.
    I applied the material from the mat editor.
    I converted the object to a editable poly and scaled it and exported it.
    I put the texture image and the exported vrml97-file into a new folderless zip-file, uploaded it to shapeways.
    I did not forget to check the has color-option...

    After a few minutes then I get the message that the texture files seems to be missing and also that shapeways wouldn't support textures in maps (what does that mean btw?)...

    So where is the fault and does max really not support the coloring per face as shapeways would support that? A detailed tutorial would be great to make this stuff clear once and for all.
  4. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    Ah yes, had no time yet, busy trying out blender myself ;)
    The new 2.5.2 alpha version seems quite max-user friendly :)

    But it seems you are on your way quite a bit ! :)
    Standard max vrml output uses a submap for the paths, clearing that field is necessary I believe.
    But its been a while.
    If thats not it, I will try to record my workflow.

  5. LKmedia
    LKmedia New Member
    Great! Looks like that was the fault. The test model was uploaded successfully, will be working on the main model again to have it ready in time.

    Thank You!
  6. WelshDesigns
    WelshDesigns New Member
    I've done tons of color printing, if you still haven't figured out your problem let me know. Something to remember, is you can only export color in .3ds or .wrl (from my Max version anyway). Use .wrl if you can. Because the .3ds is a really old file format, and will only suipport the old DOS 8.3 file naming convensions. that means if you texture a model with something longer than 8 letters followed by . (dot) 3 letters the name gets truncated, and the printer software will not see your texture name you uploaded. ie, fubarfubar.png will become fubarfub.png in the mesh file, not the actual texture. so you can't see that happening. You'll just get errors when the printer trys to load it. it also limits the poly size to something like 64k per object if I remember.
  7. LKmedia
    LKmedia New Member
    That texture problem seems to be solved for now but the other question still remains. Is the coloring per face-method, mentioned by Shapeways, applicable in max? And if so, can you further combine both colouring methods?

    Would be good to know.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  8. WelshDesigns
    WelshDesigns New Member
    I'm not 100% positive here, but I did a test for you, using 3D Max. I created 2 models. One (purple) doesn't have any material. the other is using 3 different materials, gray,blue and green applied to selected polys. I then imported them into the software that drives the color printers. They seem to look correct there. So I'd assume they will print those colors. Now if you texture them, the material colors will go away, and be superseeded by the textures applied. Anything transparent in the texture will print white in most cases. materialColorsTest.jpg
  9. pior
    pior New Member
    Here are all the necessary steps to keep in mind for color in Max.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong or if I'm doing something unnecessary!

    shapeways_color_reminder (sx64pc's conflicted copy 2010-05-03).jpg
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  10. bitstoatoms
    bitstoatoms Member
    Nice tutorial Pior,

    We are in the middle of writing one for 3DS max (that is pretty much the same) and will post it on the blog on Monday.