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gmax Community and Support : maxscript : Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Forum: Posts From:
paul perreault
Poster
29 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 28-Nov-2001 2:37 PM

Hello--

Id like to introduce myself: my name is Paul Perreault and I am the Product Manager for the gmax effort at Discreet. I have been lurking on the gmaxsupport.com forum for some time, and have taken keen interest in the discussion about exporting data from gmax--which we have taken pains to prevent and discourage.

First off let me say that I (and ?we? here at Discreet) enjoy your enthusiasm for gmax. Besides being a great tool to modify game content, I should also mention that the skills you develop using gmax will be directly applicable in 3ds max, should you ever pursue a career in 3D modeling/animation or game development.

As you may have discovered, gmax is a professional grade 3D modeling, mapping and animation package based on tools and technologies found in 3ds max 4--which is sold by Discreet to 3D professionals for $3495.

gmax was designed to provide game developers and game enthusiasts a stable and robust 3d content creation and editing tool for Discreet approved game title formats. Discreet licenses (for a fee) to game companies the right to distribute gmax game packs. By design, this is the only means by which users are allowed to export data from gmax. Discreet withheld the ability to export data directly from gmax for many reasons, and we take very seriously any effort to defeat our design.

By attempting to defeat the measures that were designed and intended to prevent exporting data from gmax, there is danger of violating the gmax End User License Agreement. Violating the gmax EULA is strictly prohibited.

Please note that Discreet is not opposed to exporting data from gmax--provided Discreet is the decision maker about what formats are supported. We are working hard to bring more gmax-enabled features to gmax users. (If you have any suggestions, please post them to this thread).

gmax is a unique product with unique capabilities. As such it is important that these capabilities be restricted to the intended use as defined by the gmax EULA. Thus I would appreciate your understanding in this matter.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please reply to this message and discuss.

Best regards,
paul perreault
gmax product manager

Created by_ X
Poster
26 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 28-Nov-2001 7:05 PM

A glimmer of hope! At least discreet is some what open to the idea of supporting exporting a file, but it depends on the file format!

Also paul, I was wondering what you would think if someone cracked the gMAX file format itself and create a converter program to convert it into say a *.3ds format? Would this also be an infringement of the gmax eula?

Also, about my MAXOut demo application, (IE: http://www.geocities.com/createdbyx/MAXOut.zip and http://www.geocities.com/createdbyx/MAXOutSRC.zip)
I don't know if you are on the development team for gMAX or not, so i don't know if you can answer this. My MAXOut app uses the Win32 API command "GetWindowText", Now this command in my view is not really an infringement with the gmax elua. And here is why I think it would'nt be. First I see the GetWindowText command as being no different of say a video capture program that someone would use to record what he/she is doing with gmax. A video tutorial for example. So in a visual sence the app that was used to make the video tutorial is kind of like my MAXOut demo app, (IE: an exporter), in that it grabs visual data from gmax and saves that data out to a file. In the gmax elua it says that a user can't modify etc. gmax to export data and such. But GetWindowText does not change or modify anything, it essenialy does exactly what our eyes do, it grabs the visual output that gmax produces/can produce. So if the GetWindowText command or MAXOut for that matter is essentially the same as a desktop video recorder. Is it really going against the elua? Because if it is, then in some form, would'nt that desktop video capture app also go against the gmax elua?

The reason I tend to push this issue (->probubly for the last time<-) is because there are many people like me who have read the elua, but are not layers. And can not fully/properly interpret all this technical reading in docs like the gmax elua.

Also have you read about the post in the MAXScript fourm, "md3exporter". Does this also go against the gmax elua? And what about all the other ways that will pop up with other gmax gamepacks when users export using this method?

Soon I am going to be starting my own software company, and one of the projects I am planning to release in the future will be a simple 3D game engine. It would help if you or someone at discreet could write a document (in plain english) that apeals to the every day joe that would clear up all these leagal issues.

!AND! it would really be nice of you/discreet would please show/demonstrate a price for the dev version of gmax. Is it a one time olny price or does discreet take a cut out of every save of a game.


And finally two last tings to say. Like all the other companies out there (with goo intentions), discreet has opened pandoras box by intoducing gMAX to the masses. And second, "DAM IT, Don't you guys be looking down on little ol' me, for introducing yet another way of exporting data out of gmax. Weather it be leagal or not. The topic of exporters was going on long before I started posting ideas/ways of doing it."

PS: To Paul Perreault -> I hope you don't need to sleep at night, because now that we minoins have got you putting your two bit's in, you'll need to stay up nights to answer all the many many many many ... did I mention many? ... questions.

Master Mesh
Poster
45 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 29-Nov-2001 11:35 AM

What about the export through game packs or even directly to the native gmax file format? I've heard talk of a .x file exporter that some game pack is planning on doing. Can any of that be used commercially or is that out of the question? It seems that something weird could happen here with copyright transfers and transitions between artists and companies. Legally, is any computer file considered art? What are the legal restrictions and copyright stuff? If there ever is created a rendering game engine using gmax native file format, will it be possible for anyone to use the output from the free gmax for anything at all? Also, what about the importers? If the copyright of anything created in gmax becomes the legal property of discreet, wouldn't that keep thousands of artist from ever using gmax to making use of their own models that originated in other programs? The law can block you like a wal sometimes.
Chris File
Advanced Poster
278 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 29-Nov-2001 2:05 PM

If your refering to the x file expoter that comes with fs2002 pro then that is no use as it does not create a physical file, it is passed almost directly to the model compliler then all traces of it are removed once done.
closed_casket
Poster
17 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 30-Nov-2001 3:02 AM

Hi there.. Im a C++ programmer wanting to make games, and of course I need models in my games.. but like most people I cant afford to pay $3450 for 3dsMAX. If I make a model in gmax and export it to someone elses file format, say an id software MD3 file, are you telling me I CANT use that model in MY program only because of the fact it was created using YOUR program?! Or that because I used your program to (still painstakingly) make it, you somehow OWN it? Thats not right.. I think you can only own your GMAX format since I.D. software released MD3 as open source to the programming community..(they are so cool!)
Browser_ice
Moderator
4022 Posts
1 Product
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 30-Nov-2001 3:44 PM

quote:
Originally posted by paul perreault:
Hello--

Id like to introduce myself: my name is Paul Perreault and I am the Product Manager for the gmax effort at Discreet.

[snip]

Best regards,
paul perreault
gmax product manager


Salut Paul, te chanceux en maudit d'etre a San-Francisco. Ici a Montreal, ce de la neige et de la pluie, mais principalement d'la pluie !!!!

:-(

GregC1
Poster
55 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 01-Dec-2001 8:40 AM

would you be opposed to who someone created an exporter which just exported to specific game formats ie .mdl .md2 and things like that instead of something universal, like .3ds. becuase you let companies with the dev kit only to make exporters to a specific format. So would you do anything if an exporter was created that could export to say .mdl?
Master Mesh
Poster
45 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 03-Dec-2001 9:19 AM

Hey Paul. The whole speculative nature of this conversation is interesting, but some more solid info would be nice. Are there currently any plans at Discreet to create an exporter for the free version of gmax besides the ones that have already been made? If so, what are the plans?
Master Mesh
Poster
45 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 05-Dec-2001 7:04 AM

What about using the .gmax file format? Is it illegal to use? I know that a lot of people are looking to use that file format like a .x file in a new type of game engine... If they suceed, is it legal? Could the .gmax file be used commercially if all the maker of the .gmax file used was the native free gmax file format? That is, after all, the export file format that Discreet set up for the program, or am I wrong?
closed_casket
Poster
17 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 07-Dec-2001 5:24 AM

I think he got scared and ran away =)
Really now, you cant have a modelling program with no export options cuz then its not a modelling program.. Didnt discreet think about this before they made gmax?

On one side they want people to make models for the gamepak games, but on the other hand they dont want people to make models for creating their own games.. umm, you cant have both! they're the same models! As it is right now someone can make a pretty nice game using gmax and MD3 models..


So either stop making gmax or call up ID software and have them make a Quake 2 gamepak ;D

ppmax1
Poster
11 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 07-Dec-2001 12:48 PM

Hello again--

Id be happy to answer some of your questions...and just because i dont post doesnt mean im not here

First: i think there is a small misunderstanding about my previous post. For the record, Discreet does not "own" any of the file formats, exporters, or game packs that participating game developers provide. However, Discreet does license use of the gmax software to people that download, accept the EULA, install, and use gmax. We therefore have every right to comment on its use--especially if the use of gmax violates the EULA.

Having said that, most software companies that i know regard "hacking" of their software as something "bad" because usually the people doing the hacking are trying to get the software to do something that it wasnt designed to do. Im not condemning hacking here--like everything in life, each action has to be judged individually and by its own merits. But where gmax is concerned, Discreet has identified that hacking gmax to export data is something that it doesnt want to happen. There are reasons for this and people should respect that. Again, i would appreciate the communities understanding on this issue.

Next, here are some individual replies to your questions.

Created by X asked if using other apis to get around the protections that have been designed and built into gmax to prevent exporting data is against the EULA. YES. the reason is because of "intent." just because someone isnt modifying gmax directly doesnt mean that the intent to defeat its design isnt relevent.

Master Mesh asked if anything created with gmax becomes the property of Discreet. NO. gmax is a tool to create 3d content--what you create with gmax is your business, not ours. lastly, a file format is not the same as a file. Discreet "owns" the gmax file format (the specifications, design, etc). this does not mean that we own everything inside a gmax file.

closed_casket asked something similar--so the answer is NO as well. If you make something and save it to an md3 file, that model is yours.

Browser [ICE] said something in french...i wish i could understand! i have a french-canadian last name but i dont speak french...go figure

GregC asked about an exporter for .mdl which i believe is the Flight Sim format. Go buy a copy of FS2002 Pro Edition--gmax is bundled with FS so you can create your own planes, airports, buildings, etc.

Master Mesh wants to know what the plans are for future game packs. Wish i could say--but there are plans. you will hear more about gmax and other games...

Master Mesh also wants to know about the .gmax file format for use in games. this is actually more of a technical issue rather than a policy issue. .gmax is not optimized for a games--its not a "realtime" format. game formats are highly optimized so that they can be loaded and rendered quickly.

closed_casket asked how gmax can be considered a modeler because it doesnt let you export data. You can export data from gmax--with a game pack. So right now you can create content for Flight Sim 2002 and Quake III Arena...

best regards,
paul

Promit
Poster
26 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 10-Dec-2001 6:58 AM

WHat Browser [ICE] said runs along the lines of Hi,im in Montreal, its snowing and rain, but mostly just raining.

Nothing of any real importance.

Browser_ice
Moderator
4022 Posts
1 Product
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 12-Dec-2001 2:16 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Promit:
WHat Browser [ICE] said runs along the lines of Hi,im in Montreal, its snowing and rain, but mostly just raining.

Nothing of any real importance.


As a joke and just in case you'r in my neibherhood, I'll just say something in pure Quebecois (to understand, listen to the words and not how it's written):

kossé tu fa lâ ? chava pas qu'y ava dôte monde qu'y éta capab d'lire mé phrases !

Phoenix1
New Poster
1 Post
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 24-Dec-2001 12:38 AM

There is an exporter I have to export 3ds max files into SOD files (used in Star Trek Armada). Is there any way I can send that exporter in to Discreet or someone and have them change it so it will convert gmax files into SOD files?
jetscreamer
Poster
79 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 05-Jan-2002 8:28 AM

quote:
!AND! it would really be nice of you/discreet would please show/demonstrate a price for the dev version of gmax. Is it a one time olny price or does discreet take a cut out of every save of a game.


http://www.discreet.com/docs/products/gmax/DeveloperAgreement.pdf

10 grand 2 years 4 seats, 85 grand first game, 68 second game, 3rd 59.5...

jetscreamer
Poster
79 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 07-Jan-2002 9:45 AM

sell 3-4,000 copies you make your money back? asi asi...


quote:
A glimmer of hope! At least discreet is some what open to the idea of supporting exporting a file, but it depends on the file format!

where did he say that? he said gmax gamepack for game = gmax in/for game. per game. only. pretty self-explanatory. i think.

[ January 07, 2002: Message edited by: jetscreamer ]

Diablo_D3
New Poster
1 Post
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 10-Jan-2002 5:05 PM

I would like to say something. Discreet goofed with gmax. There is no "hook". Why should we use gmax?
Why should we buy a licesne? They havent made a
product that screams "buy me!." Imho, they should
have included a .3ds (but not .max) import/export
plugin from the start. People would have started
screwing with it, and start actually using it. If a modeler has a large userbase, then gaming companies will
use it, because more often than not, those 3d artists will be among the userbase. That is called a "hook" and gmax doesnt have one. But, also, from what Ive heard, discreet might dump gmax. Imho, thats a bad idea. It proves they goofed (which equates to "discreet sucks" on message boards and irc) and it also proves their marketing department isnt doing their job. I suggest you start trying to give gmax a little more freedom so 3d artists behind gaming companies will get "hooked"
paul perreault
Poster
29 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 11-Jan-2002 2:05 PM

where have you heard that discreet is dumping gmax? im the product manager and i can confirm there are *no* plans to dump gmax. our ceo is ecstatic about gmax and how successful it has been since its release 4 months ago.

also, i think you may misunderstand what gmax is. gmax is free plain and simple. the developer version of gmax isnt intended for sale to individuals--there is no "upsell" to gmax dev. we sell gmax dev to game companies and they create game packs that work with the free version. these game packs are basically exporters that allow gmax users to biuld custom game content and play with it in gmax supported games.

the "hook" is that if you like and use gmax you can create and edit content for the upcoming release of command and conqure: renegade. more games will support gmax--i can guarantee that.

another hook is that so far there are over 82K registered users of gmax--people who previously had no legit way to learn and use a professional grade 3d tool (gmax is based on 3ds max). many of these people will learn the tool and be perfect candidates for game or film companies that need to hire artists.

best regards,
paul

Scobott1
New Poster
1 Post
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 11-Jan-2002 3:10 PM

gMax as AFFORDABLE learning tool.

Hey, all Discreet has to do is, stay with me now:

You make 3DS MAX "read/save as" GMAX files.

A student taking a class in 3DMAX, who can't afford even the education version ($1000) would be able to work in class, on MAX, save as GMAX file, take it home, work on it there, and be able to bring it back to class and import it into MAX.

There it is. Simple. If you're rich enough to own MAX, then you're not a threat to Descreet. And if GMAX only makes GMAX files (with the exception of whatever special GAME PAC file is encluded), then Descreet doesn't have to worry, since nothing else opens GMAX files.

So just make a little "SAVE AS GMAX" option in MAX 4.3 and everyone can be happy, especially the students who want to work with YOUR software.

Cool?
OK, make it so.

Will1
New Poster
3 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 16-Jan-2002 5:28 AM

I am doing my own hobby game, and would like to use the GMAX tool because, IMO, it is better than Milkshake and other freely available tools.

And I don't have any money to use on my hobby game, which I don't plan to sell.

So, if I decipher enough of the GMAX format to use it directly in my game, can I do that legally?

Master Mesh
Poster
45 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 16-Jan-2002 11:37 AM

Will - just to let you know - Next month there will be another freebie out there from another company. <a rel="nofollow" HREF="http://www.gmaxsupport.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=8&t=000023" TARGET=_blank>http://www.gmaxsupport.com/forum/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=8&t=000023</A>
Will1
New Poster
3 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 17-Jan-2002 2:28 AM

what I really want is a clear message from Discreet comparing creating a get-around EXPORTER (e.g. converts to some format), and using the gmax NATIVE format directly...

I don't plan on EXPORTing my gmax format graphics from gmax, rather IMPORTing them into my game.. see how twisted plain English can become?

the Moog
Poster
22 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 17-Jan-2002 6:12 AM

As much as I WISH there was some kind of exporter to max, let's face it, the intentions have been made quite clear on the purpose for offering us GMAX for NO MONEY PEOPLE !!! NO MONEY.
Now, personally I can't afford Max at home (can't even get a student copy cos I'm not officially a 'student' even though im learning - seeth...) but am lucky enough to work in a place which has some max licences. So I see it as the best (legal) learning tool for me to get my skills up.
Imagne... you want to get into the animation / games / film industry but can't afford max (sound familiar) or don't want to use a 'naughty' version for say, legal or ethical reasons ? yet you could go to a company and say 'well, I've used GMAX for a couple of years and my models are s**t hot' well, then thats a good thing right ?
True it would be nice if we could save our animations out (even to an unrendered state for demoing / showreels (how about that one paul??)) or even a screen dump feature, but when it all comes down to it, Max is there to make money, Gmax is ours for 'playing.'
I personally think it's one of the boldest and most generous moves a pro software company has ever made. Thank you discreet.

phew..

my two penneth.

Master Mesh
Poster
45 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 17-Jan-2002 10:09 AM

Yes, it is a very good program. Now that everyone's raising questions about what has not been done (can't be done?) I have a question about what has been done. Can the quake models exported from tempest be used for commercial purposes? I've heard some people say that the quake engine is open source - but is it ok to use as commerical, or will ID come after you with a lawsuit?
Mark _Spinny_ Dyson_simTECH FD
New Poster
7 Posts
Discreet Postion on gmax exporter
Posted 18-Jan-2002 6:19 AM

One thing that is paramount to any decision or action related to GMax: can this make it easier for someone to perform 3D Max-level tasks without having purchasted 3D Max? If the answer is, 'yes,' then I submit that will be seen as a Bad Thing by Discreet.

I understand everyone here most likely has the best of intentions, would never knowingly support 'warez,' and would (hopefully) report such things at once so as to keep software makers like Discreet funded and viable. That being said, most naively I'm sure, the world is full of people with other than honorable intent.

Let's say, for example, Discreet releases a plug-in that lets 3D Max import/export the .gmax format. Now you have a direct, 2-way communication path from the (legally) free modeling program to the (illegally) free 'warez' copy of 3D Max. If such a plug-in did the double duty of clobbering all known hacks so that pirates couldn't benefit from their thievery, that'd be well and good -- but there's always someone lurking ready to 'raise the criminal bar' by hacking the next level of security.

It's one thing to be well-intentioned and naive (something I am guilty of more than most). It's another thing to believe in abolishing 'intellectual property' rights and make everything open source. It's a third thing entirely to go vigilante and become a criminal because one can't exercise the patience to work within 'the system' to effect change. And, to those who object to paying for software, I ask how you intend to fund the daily living expenses of the people who might create the next tool you need? Shall we all pay special taxes to support them? Either way, the money has to come from somewhere. Just a fact.

Not pointing any fingers, or even ranting (too much), just pointing out what I observe to be one or two misconceptions concerning how software makers try to stay in business --- from a small and struggling member of that community.

Cheers!
Mark

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