I want to import a '3ds' model into Blender. I have the '3ds' file and several 'jpg' files:

  • image_bump.jpg
  • image_color.jpg
  • image_illumination.jpg
  • image_specular.jpg

Note: the website states that the models are already uv-unwrapped and come with the textures.

So, I get a '3ds' file with these textures. When I try to import the '3ds' file into Blender, I only get the model without the textures applied.

So my questions are:

  1. Is it even possible that the textures are applied and "saved" in an '3ds' file?

  2. Is it common that textures are applied in an '3ds' file?

  3. Can Blender open the model with the textures applied?

So, because I thought that maybe this isn´t possible at all, I tried to add the textures to the model myself, with limited success. I habe been able to add one jpg as Texture for the material of the model.(using Blender Render).
But I was neither able to assign more materials to the model nor assign more textures to one material. (My thought was that I should try to assign all 4 jpgs to the model)

When using Cycles render I was able to create multiple texture nodes, but was not able to use all of the on the model.(through mix shader)

So my most significant question is: Am I on the right track to import the model, or is this done in a completely different way?

My problem is that I do not know much about blender or 3dmodelling in general.
However I also think that you don´t have to know much about it, because I am intending to buy already finished textures, so I guess it shouldn´t be too hard to just convert them into a file format that is suitable for me.

Any help or instruction to get into the right direction are highly appreciated.

EDIT: Okay, I found out that getting the Model to be displayed correctly in blender has noch much to do with getting the Model correctly displayed in an own written application. (I thought that I had to do some work on the model, then export everything(model,material,textures) into one file and then load this file in my application. ) As this is the blender subsite i´ll accept Buthur´s answer, cause he told me how to get the model working in blender!

Thanks to all of you!

  • $\begingroup$ 3ds is a proprietary format, and thus the implementation of the imported has to be reverse engineered. 3ds files probably do contain materials, but it would be very hard to reverse engineer the materials therein and convert them to be compatible with either BI or Cycles. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As someonewithpc said the importer can't convert whatever material the .3ds file is using (probably MentalRay) to a Cycles or BI material. However Blender is quite capable of using those maps. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ What render engine are you using? $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 21:58
  • $\begingroup$ @someonewithpc do you think if i find someone with autodesk or i download the trial and convert the model to an fbx file, that my chances are higher that blender can import everything? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 5:02
  • $\begingroup$ @LukasMakor fbx is proprietary too, so the same applies; the problem is not the format, it's just that you're trying to import materials from another render engine - even Blender itself can't convert a Cycles material to a BI one, since there's not a one to one correspondence. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


This is a possible cycles shader you can use with your textures.
enter image description here
The "?" indicates you can plug the color map or not.

  • $\begingroup$ This definitely seems good, but what do you mean that i can plug the colour or not - if i don't do, then the colour won't be visible i guess? I'll give it a try as soon as i get home. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 5:21
  • $\begingroup$ the color is visible with the diffuse shader, but the glossy can be affected by color too. usually, if you want a glossy to be colored by your color map, you use a RGB curves node or something else to control it. The color of the light (emission) can be a single color or the same as your color map, depending on what you need. (a light bulb needs 1 color, a neon sign could use more...). $\endgroup$
    – Bithur
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 5:36

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