Starcraft 2 M3 Plugins for 3ds Max

Starcraft 2 Model (.M3) Plugins for 3ds Max is a Starcraft 2 Model plugins designed for 3ds Max 2010. Should work with 3ds Max 6 and above.

The importer and exporter will now be bundled together along with Starcraft 2 object definitions for using custom objects (materials, maps, UI, etc) within 3ds Max. I've chosen to distribute them together so that the object file definitions are in sync with each script.

Starcraft 2 Model (.M3) import plugin for 3ds Max

Currently Imports:
  • Geometry
  • Bones
  • Materials
  • Animation
  • Attachments

Starcraft 2 Model (.M3) export plugin for 3ds Max

Currently Exports:
  • Geometry
  • Materials
  • Skin\Bones
  • Animations
  • Attachments

Setting up an exportable model

Geometry & Materials

  • Geometry to be exported must be of the 'Editable_Mesh' type.
  • Materials can only be of 'Starcraft 2', 'Standard' or 'Multimaterial' types. Starcraft 2 type is highly recommended.
  • Bitmaps must be either 'Starcraft 2 Bitmap' or 'Bitmap' type. Starcraft 2 Bitmap is also highly recommended.
  • Decals can now be exported. They are applied through a different UV map channel to the diffuse map.

You can now use custom 'Starcraft 2' materials and 'Starcraft 2 Bitmap' bitmaps for extra tweakable settings if you put the script in your plugins directory.

Skin, Bones and Attachments

  • Vertices must be weighted via a skin modifer applied to a mesh. This is not required for meshes that have no weighted vertices.
  • Attachments are now exported as custom helper objects. They can be found in the Create panel, under the Helpers tab in the 'Starcraft 2 Objects'*s group.
  • Unskinned geometry and helper objects that aren't hidden or frozen in the scene will be exported as bones.

Bindpose Rigging

The bindposes for Starcraft 2 models exists in two forms, the bind pose and the base pose. The first form is the bind pose of the model which uses the absolute positions of the bones and the mesh vertices before any deformation as the 'binding' of bones to mesh pose. The base pose of the model is the 'standard' pose of the model that animations are based off and uses the bind pose as the initial reference. This is the pose the model will assume in the absence of animation information. The base pose and bind pose do not need to be different, they can be the same, this is just the system Starcraft 2 models use to rig bones to model meshes. You can set these poses up at different frames and assign them through the exporter options.


Animations are now supported by the exporter, however make sure you create beginning and end frame animations for the bones you're going to animate or else you'll be getting weird interpolations. When doing rotation animation, keyframes should be provided every 90 degrees or less of rotation. Animations may not export entirely like you expect because the code is still largely beta.

Install instructions

1. Must have 3ds max installed

2a. Extract the scripts (.ms) into your 3ds max '...\Scripts' directory, optionally you can place the scripts in your '...\Scripts\Startup\' directory to have it automatically load them when you launch 3ds Max.

2b. If you want to use Starcraft 2 objects in max (custom materials, maps, animation UI) then place '' into your 3ds max '...\Plugins' directory.

3. Click on the hammer icon on the default right hand side pane, and click on the MAXScript button. If you didn't have 3ds max automatically load it upon launch, click 'Run Script' from the rollout dialog and locate the script you want to load.

4. Select the utilty (i.e.'M3 - Import', 'M3 - Export') from the Utilities drop down menu.

Bundled scripts: - Starcraft 2 Objects Definition File Version 0.04 - M3 Importer Version 0.27 - M3 Exporter Version 0.18

Change log:
* Multiple meshes as submeshes now supported
* Decal textures now supported
* Terrain (null) textures now supported
* Attachments now imported/exported as custom helper objects
* Mesh/Skin processing reworked
* Bone exporting vastly improved
* Miscellaneous bugs fixed

Download link:

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