IGES Format

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Title(s): Autodesk 3ds (formerly 3D Studio).

Version ID: Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 (12.0).

Date released: March 24, 2009.

Date: 1990.

Creator(s): Autodesk

Contributor(s): Autodesk Media and Entertainment.

Relationships: The first version was created by the Yost Group for MS-DOS and published by Autodesk in 1990. This initial release was based 3D Studio .3ds Geometry Export Converter on Tom Hudson's mid-80's "CAD-3D" Tom Hudson's CAD-3D 1.0 on the Atari platform.

  • Previous Version(s):

The first version was created by the Yost Group for MS-DOS and published by Autodesk in 1990. After 3D Studio Release 4, the product was rewritten for the Windows NT platform, and re-named "3D Studio MAX." This version was also originally created by the Yost Group. It was released by Kinetix, which was at that time Autodesk's division of media and entertainment. Autodesk purchased the product at the second release mark of the 3D Studio MAX version and internalized development entirely over the next two releases. Later, the product name was changed to "3ds max" (all lower case) to better comply with the naming conventions of Discreet, a Montreal-based software company which Autodesk had purchased. At release 8, the product was again branded with the Autodesk logo, and the name was again changed to "3ds Max" (upper and lower case). At release 2009, product name changed to "Autodesk 3ds Max".

  • Contains: none.
  • Syntax Format(s):

.3ds files are organized into sections called chunks each of which has a header that contains a 2-byte unsigned integer chunkname and a 4-byte unsigned integer of its length. The header length field includes the 6 bytes for the header itself. All fields in a .3ds are stored in little-endian byte ordering.

  • Family Format(s): none.

Description: The chunk name defines the format of what's contained in the chunk, which is potentially some data and/or some subchunks, in that order. If you don't know what a particular chunk is or don't care you can simply jump forward by length bytes from the beginning of the chunks header and arrive at the next one. Geometry is stored as one or more object chunks. The 3dschunknames.h header defines these chunk names of interest: MAIN3DS, OBJ_TRIMESH, TRI_VERTEXL, TRI_TEXCOORD etc.

History: A very good summary can be found here: 3ds Max History.

Example(s): 3ds Example

Identifier: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=5659302

Documentation: 3ds Documentation

File Extensions: .3ds, .max

Applications: Autodesk 3ds Max, Mathematica, VTK, IVCON.

Magic numbers: 4D 4D (hex), MM (ASCII).

Format(s): application/x-3ds, image/x-3ds.

Rights: Proprietary license.

Sustainability Factors:

  • Standardization: none
  • Self-documentation: none
  • External dependencies: none
  • Technical protection considerations: none

Typical use: CAM, a model archiving file format.

File classification:

  • Type {Binary, Text}:binary
  • Raster data:
    • Raster data 2D:
      • Is Supported: false
      • Description: Contour data only.
    • Raster data 3D:
      • Is Supported: false
      • Description: Contour data only.
  • Geometric representation:
    • Implicit representation:
      • Implicit surfaces:
        • Is Supported: false
        • Description: Explicit surfaces supported.
      • Implicit curves:
        • Is Supported: false
        • Description: Explicit curves supported.
      • Point set:
        • Is Supported: true
        • Description: Triangle meshes supported.
    • Mesh:
      • Manifold surface meshes:
        • Is Supported: true
        • Description: Triangle meshes supported.
      • Manifold volume meshes:
        • Is Supported: false
        • Description: Surface meshes supported.
        • Non-manifold meshes:
        • Is Supported: false
        • Description: Non-manifold meshes change existing topology.
    • Parametric representation:
        • Is Supported: true
        • Description: Spline-to-patch surface.
      • Parametric curves:
        • Is Supported: true
        • Description: Splines and NURBS.
    • Contour sets:
      • Is Supported: false
      • Description: Surfaces are supported.
    • NURBS:
  • Multi-resolution models:
  • Dynamics:
  • Material transparency:

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3DS_Max