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After a lot of searching and testing it seems like it's impossible to import an 3D-object with it's UV-mapping and texture from another 3D-software into Blender. Is this really true or is there a way to fix this?

I have a potential customer that is not working with Blender. I guess they are using 3ds Max and a cooperation is only possible if I can use there 3D-models and textures in Blender.

I have tested to import .3ds and .obj files into Blender, but there are no textures visible and the scale is not correct or the 3D-models is broken or just a big mess.

I need to clarify if it is impossible to use 3D-models with correct UV-mapping and textures into Blender? If it's impossible, I must unfortunately consider using 3ds Max again instead of Blender and that's something I want to avoid!

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure about .3ds files, but .obj's only include mesh data. You'll need the textures in external images. $\endgroup$ – Dr. Farquaad Oct 1 '18 at 21:10
  • $\begingroup$ In fact it IS possible but not every model and its a BETA for now. Try to look at this... blog.sketchfab.com/… ...cause with this (and the SketchFab account active) You are able to import SF models with textures - tested and MOSTLY working for me! $\endgroup$ – Jan Matys Oct 1 '18 at 22:03
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It is most definitely possible. If the models are modeled well and exported correctly to one of the huge number of formats that Blender supports you should have no problems. .obj, .fbx and .3ds as well as .dea files are among the most popular formats used. They all support geometry and UV Maps well.

The problem with materials is that they differ too much in different software using different render engines (see this answer for more detailed explanation: .fbx export why there are no materials or textures?) so you will need to recreate them and assign the image textures during this process. This is true for any software, not just exporting from 3ds Max to Blender. You would have similar problems exporting from 3ds Max to Maya or Cinema 4D or Houdini or any other software that you would use a different rendering engine in.

Regarding the models being a big mess, from my experience I can say that this very common situation very often has nothing to do with the software you are trying to import the models to. They could just be exported with settings not suitable for your purposes, but it is also very common for models that originate in solid modelling or other CAD software to have a very untidy and messy geometry making it a nightmare to work with them. This issue cannot be solved by switching to 3ds Max or any other 3d package unfortunately. My recommendation would be to check carefully if this is not the case before investing your money, effort and time into switching to another 3d package.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer! If I read yor answer correct, it will work, but I have to create new materials and connect each material with a image texture and then apply it to the surface again? Do I also need to UV-mapping the surface again? But how do I know the right scale of the texture? When I apply a image texture in Blender, I can scale the image texture. And finally, which is best for importing objects? .3ds, .obj or .fbx? $\endgroup$ – 3D-kreativ Oct 2 '18 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ It all depends on the objects that are exported from other software. Assuming they are well made, you should not need to adjust the size of the textures or recreate UVs. Unfortunately, that is a guess and it may not be so in reality. I would go for OBJ because it is very simple and very popular so most software supports it very well and there is very little that can go wrong. Since we are only talking about geometry and UV maps, OBJ is perfectly adequate. OBJ definitely supports UV maps so if there are any problems you can be sure they are because of the way the models were exported/made. $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Oct 2 '18 at 21:15

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