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Creating 3DS in Blender 2.8 and above


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Hi there,

I modeled some Fixtures in Blender (2.93.1). Unfortunately this Blender Version doesn't export 3ds files (the last Blenders Version with 3ds export is 2.79).

So I exported my 3D Models as obj and converted them with some online converters into 3ds files. I can import this 3ds file into the Fixture Builder and they look as aspected, but when I import this Fixture in grandMA3 the 3D Model don't work. The Model is displayed in yellow and has no vertices.

An example Fixture is: Expolite Tour-Cyc 540 RGBW

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Helo @smajehrke,

if you wanted to just stay with Blender, what you can do is to use older Blender for the export, as multiple Blender installations can coexist. When looking at your GDTF file, the fixture is pointed up, and the beam is pointing down, so the MA (i have not tested in the console) will likely not show any beam. Other then this, i tried to open the 3DS in another programs and it seems OK. Let me add @dmueller here, he might know why the MA3 3D doesn't show the model.

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Hello @Petr Vanek,

thank you very much for your fast reply!!! You helped me a lot.

So for all other users here my workaround:

1. I model the Fixtures in the last Blenders Version 2.93.1 (because I like the new user-interface a lot more then the user-interface in blender v.2.79).

1.1. I model the fixtures topdown (the beam/light is pointing downwards).

2. I export the different parts of the 3D model (Base, Yoke, Head, Lens) separate as obj-files.

2.1. I installed Blender v.2.79 on a USB-Stick in this version I import the different obj-files (check the scale) and export then as 3ds files.

2.2. I import this 3ds file in the gdtf Fixture-Builders and everything is fine. In the gdtf Fixture-Builder and in grandMA3.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/1/2021 at 12:17 PM, NRG Sille said:

btw, it is also possible to add the 3ds plugin via preferences in blender, you can find it in the community category

Awesome, thank you @NRG Sille. It seems that this is perhaps not in master/2.9 branch of the Blender Community add-ons (i did not dig deeper to figure out the details), thus not in Blender > 2.9 and therefore for 2.9 and up one must install it via custom addons path as described here https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/editors/preferences/addons.html . I did that and it works for me on Blender 2.93.4 .

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  • 11 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The GDTF v1.2 specification deprecated 3DS, replaced by binary Khronos glTF due to issues like this.
I'd very much recommend using glTF "glb" files in all new fixtures, unless you need compatibility with old software.

Khronos glTF 2.0 (ISO/IEC 12113:2022) is available in all current versions of Blender.

You'll need to export from Blender using the "glTF Binary (.glb)" format, as that embeds the geometry into a single file. I don't remember whether that's the default.
You can also embed your copyright into your glb, if you wish.

Edited by RichardT
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