I've tried to import but I don't see the (.max) file as an option when importing. Is there another way to import the 3DMax model into Blender for rigging and animation?
.max is the native internal format of 3DS Max, just like
.blend is Blender's native format. To get models into blender use an interchange format such as Obj, Collada or FBX.
If you only have the
.max file and no access to 3DS Max, then yes, there's no way to import it into blender, just like there's no way to import a
.blend file into Max, or a
.max file into Maya.
I haven't tried this myself, but there's a script available for download at http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/Import-Export/3DS_MAX_Scene_Interchange that says it'll convert a
.max file into a
.scn file that Blender can use. The page has instructions on it.
Another thing you might try is just to use 3DS Max to export the
.max file into something that Blender can read, like
.obj (Wavefront) or
.dxf, and import it into Blender from there. Again, not sure how well it'll work, but it's worth a try.
You'll need a copy of the 3DS Max software for each of the above techniques. There's a 30-day trial version on Autodesk's web site, and they also offer a monthly subscription package (just in case you can't afford the permanent license for the full version).
This is an older question, but there don't seem to be any truly satisfactory answers yet. The suggestion to use 3DS Max to export to
.dxf works fine if you have 3DS Max, but then it's pretty expensive.
A better solution is to convert the file using 3rd party software (which might not have been available in 2015 when this was last answered). A good one that I have found is Yobi 3D, though there are others. This particular one is actually some kind of 3D model repository site, but has a converter that supports converting from
.3ds, .blend, .dae, .dwg, .dxf, .fbx, .ma, .max, .mb, .obj to
.obj .stl .fbx .glb. This makes it pretty useful for a number of conversions, and it's totally free to use.
I converted the .max first to .obj using this converter: https://www.yobi3d.com/3d-file-convert Then I imported the .obj file into blender.