Exporting Poser or DAZ Studio Characters to 3ds Max

Hi friends here is a tutorial explaining “how to Export a custom Poser/DAZStudio characters with all the rigging and morphs for animation in 3DS Max”. It explains step by step and you need DAZStudio, 3DS Max with COLLADAMAX plugin installed to do this.You must have the Nvidia CGToolkit and COLLADAMAX plugin from feeling software (www.feelingsoftware.com)

Bring COLLADA Exported Content into MAX from DAZStudio

Requirements: DAZStudio, 3DS Max with COLLADAMAX plugin installed.
Skill Level:
Explains step by step how to Export a custom Poser/DAZStudio character with all the rigging and morphs for animation in 3DS Max.

Let’s Begin: Step 1: This tutorial assumes you are comfortable with the import/export process in both DAZStudio as well as 3DS Max and that you have the Nvidia CGToolkit and COLLADAMAX plugin from feeling software (www.feelingsoftware.com). Now that is complete and running correctly, we can begin.

Open DAZStudio (I use version 2) and load whatever figure you will be working with (I will be using V3 for this one). Load all the morphs you will use to shape her features and get them set to what you are wanting. (See Pic)

Step 2: Final Adjustments Before Export. All the morphs that you are wanting to be animatable in MAX need to be applied and have the value sliders adjusted to any value that is above 0 (See Pic), which will be explained during export.


Now comes the fun part: setting the character’s export settings. On the General Tab, make sure the following options are selected: Y is the Up Axis, all Animation Options (Include Transforms and Include Morphs) are selected, as well as Skip Polygons for Invisible Nodes. Once this is done, go to the Morphs Tab (See Pic). Make your selections in the Morph Options area at the top so they match the pic. This is why I had you set all the morphs you wanted to animate in Max to a value over 0 (Zero). Why this is set up this way is beyond me. Hopefully, DAZ will add the option to simply select which morphs to ad, to bake, and which morphs to leave out Now, since you selected the option to bake only the SELECTED morphs, you will see that all of the morphs which have a value above 0 (Zero) are listed. What you will need to do is DESELECT only the morphs that you wish to animate in Max while leaving all the morphs for the facial features checked. What we are doing is telling DAZStudio is we want to export all of the active morph channels assigned to the character, but bake the morphs selected by a check mark. Once you have unchecked all the morphs that will be animated, click the Accept button.

Importing into Max

This next step is one of the easiest steps to do. Go to your File menu and select Import. Select COLLADA .DAE as the format and locate the exported file you just created in the previous step. You will be presented with a small window (see Pic) that with two options: Import Units and Import Up Axis. Make sure both are selected, otherwise, things may not go as planned.

The Results of a Few Minutes’ Work

If all goes according to plan, you will be presented with a figure, a camera, and a bunch of Dummy Objects (which are the actual bones). Click on the Figure and then select the Morpher Modifier. If you set everything correctly on Export from DAZStudio, you should see only the morphs that you unchecked from the list of Morphs to Bake back in DAZStudio. (See Pic)

Where to Go from Here From here, I usually transfer the character to another skeletal system (BIPED or other) by using the locations of the dummy objects as a reference as well as make sure the names of the bones of the new skeleton match exactly to the names of the dummy object bones that were imported. Once this is done, you can export the envelopes as a file and reapply them via another skin modifier to the new skeleton and then delete the original skin modifier, which removes the association with the imported skeleton itself. The steps for this are beyond the scope of this tutorial, but it can be done quite easily–ableit rather tediously. Happy Animating!