• F.A.Q: PolyTrans-for-3dsMax Usage Questions

    Every copy of Okino's NuGraf & PolyTrans software come bundled with a special plug-in system for 3ds Max. These plug-ins allow 3ds Max to import and export all of the supported Okino 3D file formats from within the 3ds Max user interface.


    1. I cannot get my PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-ins to execute.
    2. What is the best way to exchange complete scenes between 3ds Max and Maya?
    3. Where can I find information about importing CAD files into 3ds Max?
    4. Can the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system be used within 3ds VIZ?
    5. Do you support bidirectional animation conversion within 3ds max?
    6. Do you support skinning (skeleton deformations) to/from 3ds max?
    7. I upgraded to a new version of 3ds Max and now the PolyTrans plug-ins do not work.
    8. Why must I own a copy of 3ds Max to have PolyTrans/NuGraf handle the .max file format?


    1. I cannot get my PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-ins to execute. - Top

    Rest assured that the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system always works for everyone. It is super rare when PolyTrans-for-3dsMax won't work out of the box. The problems come down to simple end-user installation issues.

    Okino software uses the "Okino Plug-Ins Super Installer" to have the 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage plug-ins automatically installed. Okino's stand-alone PolyTrans or NuGraf products must first be installed before running the super installer.

    If the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system fails to initialize and show up in the 3ds Max "Utility" panel then the cause is always due to one of the following cases:

    • Make sure you are logged in as the Windows administrator and have UAC disabled ("User Access Control"). UAC is disabled by going into the "User" control panel applet and selecting the "Change User Account Control Settings". In Windows 7 the next dialog box will display a slider which you will want to set to "Never Notify".

    • As something we see with about two customers per year, please make sure you installed the stand-alone PolyTrans or NuGraf software (and entered the license codes) with UAC disabled, and while logged in as the Windows administrator. If you do not do this then PolyTrans-for-3dsMax may show up in the 3ds Max "Plug-Ins Manager" but not the 3ds Max "Utility" panel. The fix: un-install the stand-alone PolyTrans or NuGraf program then re-install with UAC disabled + login as the Windows administrator. If anything can go wrong in this day and age, it would be this UAC + admin situation.

    • You might be mixing up the 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions of PolyTrans-for-3dsMax on your machine. Many of our animation users do this since they are not aware that there is a difference between 32-bit and 64-bit software. If you are doing this then please write to support@okino.com with your serial number so that we can provide a refined explanation about how to correct this based on your existing licensed version of Okino software and the version of 3ds Max you are using.

    • You have not rebooted your computer since you updated the global PATH environment variable or since you installed the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax system (common problem). Using the "Okino Plug-Ins Super Installer" you will normally not have to reboot your computer.

    • Your global "PATH" environment variable is most probably too long. This was more common back in 2004 or prior, but not any more. This was once a semi-common problem for most plug-in installations failures. The "Okino Plug-Ins Super Installer" appends the directory path of the main PolyTrans or NuGraf program to the end of this PATH environment variable. However, Microsoft Windows will ignore some of these entries if it is too long (this is a bug in all current versions of Windows). Please edit the current PATH string and remove all redundant entries. This can be edited by going into the "System" control panel applet in Windows (START menu, Settings, Control Panel) and modifying the "Advanced/Environment Variables" section. Please reboot if you make any changes to this PATH variable. You need to ensure this variable is set because 3DS MAX needs to know where the main Okino DLLs are located (the vc4_*.dlls located in the main PolyTrans or NuGraf home directories).

    • Your global "PATH" environment variable does not have any entry which points to the main PolyTrans or NuGraf home directories. See the previous paragraph about how to edit this environment variable. You need to ensure this variable is set because 3ds Max needs to know where the main Okino DLLs are located (the vc4_*.dlls or vc64*.dlls located in the main PolyTrans or NuGraf home directories). The Okino plug-ins super installer will automatically add this entry in all cases. Please reboot if you make any changes to it.

    • You are using the wrong version of the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in module (ptio.dlu or ptio64.dlu) for 3ds Max or 3ds Max Design. Every version of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design requires a different version of PolyTrans-for-3dsMax.

    • You have mixed up a newer version of the stand-alone PolyTrans software with an older version of the 3ds Max plug-in module (ptio.dlu or ptio64.dlu in the 3ds Max "plugins" directory). If you had recently installed an update from Okino then please ensure that you updated the PolyTrans or NuGraf main installation as well as the 3ds Max plug-in and optionally the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in system as well.


    After installation you may want to review the "ptio.chm" file which is installed into the 3ds Max "plugins" directory. This is the complete online help system for PolyTrans-for-3dsMax. It also contains information on how to access the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system from the Utility panel of 3ds Max.

    You may also want to review the "ptio_max_install.txt" file which is installed into the "plugins" directory as well. This contains all possible information about getting PolyTrans-for-3dsMax installed and running (which otherwise should be automated by the Okino super installer).

    Send email to support@okino.com if you need further clarifications.
    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    2. What is the best way to exchange complete scenes between 3ds Max and Maya? - Top

    For over 2 decades Okino's core development and business has been in providing the one and only dedicated, professional bidirectional conversion system between 3ds Max and Maya.

    The system is set up as follows:

    - The core Okino PolyTrans or NuGraf software is first installed.

    - PolyTrans-for-3dsMax is installed into 3ds Max using the "Okino Super Installer"

    - PolyTrans-for-Maya is installed into Maya using the "Okino Super Installer"

    Thereafter, you will convert between 3ds Max and Maya using the Okino .bdf "data transfer file format". This is the most accurate and refined method to transfer entire scenes bidirectionally, including geometry, hierarchy, materials, lights, cameras, animation data, mesh skinning and texture mapping data.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    3. Where can I find information about importing CAD files into 3ds Max? - Top

    Look in the "Common Answers to Importing from CAD File Formats" section of this FAQ.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    4. Can the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system be used within 3ds VIZ? - Top

    Yes. 3ds Max and 3DS VIZ are essentially the same programs. The current version of the 3ds Max plug-in should be used for the current version of 3ds VIZ. Note, however, that Autodesk has replaced 3ds VIZ with "3ds Max Design".

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    5. Do you support bidirectional animation conversion within 3ds max? - Top

    Yes. We have spent well over a decade cloning the best aspects of the animation engines from 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, Lightwave, DirectX, Collada, CINEMA-4D, FBX and U3D so that our core software can import, retain and export the native animation data of these 3d packages. Our core software handles Bezier/TCB/Linear keyframe interpolators, and quaternion/Euler/Angle-Axis rotation types. Cross conversion between all these animation methods is transparently handled by the core software.

    For 3ds Max and Maya, our most popular conversion path for animation professionals, we have developed our "Artic" toolkit that intelligently handles the plethora of 3ds max's procedural and keyframe animation controllers. If a controller is procedural then the Arctic toolkit will resample it frame by frame (using matrices), break down the matrices into SRT values (as well as adding new nodes to the hierarchy if off-axis scaling is present) and output keyframe lists compatible with the destination package. For animated skinned meshes, the Artic toolkit also has the unique feature of stripping off the off-axis scaling from Bipeds and propagating it to children nodes.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    6. Do you support skinning (skeleton deformations) to/from 3ds max? - Top

    Yes, very much so. Several continuous years of working has been invested in our skinning support. We have very strong internal and 'smart' conversion of skeletons and skinning weights.

    We support the export of Character Studio Bipeds and 'SkinMod' skinned meshes (meshes deformed by a control skeleton of bones). We support the import of skeletons and skinned meshes from other 3D packages such as Maya, Softimage, Lightwave, Collada, FBX, DirectX, CINEMA-4D, U3D and DirectX, using the 3ds Max SkinMod modifier.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    7. I upgraded to a new version of 3ds Max and now the PolyTrans plug-ins do not work. - Top

    Every time a new version of 3ds Max is released it automatically obsoletes every plug-in module that was designed for that specific version of 3ds Max. This includes Okino's PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in module system.

    You will need to download the most recent version of PolyTrans or NuGraf, including the revised 3ds Max plug-in system. Please send your registration number and full registration information to support@Okino.com to obtain upgrade instructions. Do not download and install from our online demo version since it is made not to work with the commercial release.


    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    8. Why must I own a copy of 3ds Max to have PolyTrans/NuGraf handle the .max file format? - Top

    For some people there is much confusion here. First of all, if you do not own a copy of 3ds Max then then best methods to move data from 3ds Max (say, as given to you by a client who owns 3ds Max) through to PolyTrans/NuGraf are: .3ds (3D Studio r4), FBX, Collada and VRML2. Now to explain why Okino software does not read/write .max files directly:

    • The .max file format is proprietary to Autodesk.

    • The .max file format is not a "pure" 3d scene/geometry file format as that of the more common .3ds file format (which itself is completely supported by Okino products). Instead, the ".max" file format describes the "state" of the 3ds Max software and how all of its plug-in modules are connected together for a specific scene. For example, a .max file might describe how a "sphere" object can be exploded into a million pieces by a series of world space modifier plug-ins. The only way to evaluate such a file is to load it into 3ds Max and have all the 3ds Max plug-in modules execute on the original raw mesh data.

    This is why Okino has developed special plug-in modules for 3ds Max which allows all of the Okino import/export converters to be executed from within 3ds Max itself; this allows the final evaluated scene data (after the 3ds Max plug-in modules have modified the raw mesh data) to be imported/exported via the PolyTrans converters.


    - Updated: May 12, 2017


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