Exporting Animated Models with Biped from 3ds Max to XNA
Downloading and Installing Necessary Plug-ins
The first thing you need to do is to download and install the newest FBX exporter from Autodesk (fbx20091). To download it, use the link below:
You'll also need the Panda DirectX Exporter Plug-in*. To download it, use the link below:
*To install the Panda DirectX Exporter Plug-in, just put the file, "PandaDirectXMaxExporter_x86.dle", in your 3ds Max plug-ins directory. For example, C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2008\plugins
Exporting to XNA
Before exporting your model, be sure that it has been put in the grid centre of your 3ds Max, because your model's pivot will be defined by its position in relation to the grid centre in 3ds Max, so if it's out of the grid centre then it's going to make the translation movement when it turns (Fig.01).
Open your model to be exported in 3ds Max (in this case I have used 3ds Max 2008).
The Unwrap UVW modifier must be collapsed into your mesh; the model to be exported can only contain your mesh, bones and "skin" or "physique" modifiers (it works with editable poly or mesh).
With your model ready and animated, click on File > Export and set a name for your file (remember: the fbx exporter will only export the animations that appear in your timeline).
In Presets, set your current preset to "Autodesk Media & Entertainment" as shown in Fig.02.
Click on Advanced Options, then on FBX File Format and set the FBX Version to: FBX200611, as shown in Fig.03.
After setting the configuration, click OK and wait for your fbx export work.
After finishing that step, click on File > Reset to reset your scene. Import into 3ds Max your FBX model with the default import configurations - you don't need to change anything.
With your FBX model already in your scene, it's necessary to add the texture again for the Panda export to save the texture path, so add a new material to your model with its texture. After that, click on File > Export, select the Panda Exporter (Fig.04), give a name to your model and then click on Save.
Click on the 3DS Max Objects tab, and then in the Output Options select Mesh Definitions, Materials, Include Animation (requires sub-frames) and bones (Fig.05).
Click on the Mesh tab, and then in the Mesh options change Optimize mesh to None (Fig.06).
In the Animation tab, add how many animation sequences you want. In Animation Method, check Sampled, and in Timeline set it as Key Seq. (Fig.07).
Click on the Textures & .fx files tab; in Texture Conversion check Convert texture Map, Scale texture to nearest Power of 2, and then change the Format to your preferred texture format (Fig.08).
Click on the X File Settings tab; in Dx File Type check Text, in Dx Frame check Sub frame hierarchy, and in XFile Animation Options check Include Animation options and change the Type to Open and the Pos. Quality to Spline Positions (Fig.09).
Finishing that, click on OK and your .X model will be ready to import to XNA without any problems!