View Full Version : GMAX is no longer available. Where does this leave us?
As of October 6, 2005, Autodesk will no longer offer Gmax® software as a stand-alone product. If you are interested in other 3D animation, modeling, and rendering applications from Autodesk please check out Autodesk® 3ds Max® software. You can download a free 30-day trial, view product demonstrations, read customer success stories, and get more information about this powerful, versatile product.
Autodesk® 3ds Max® 8 is the latest version of our award-winning 3D software. Designed to provide the most comprehensive and advanced 3D design tools and pipeline workflow, 3ds Max is one of the industry’s most popular solutions for game development, design visualization, and film and video production. More.
Product support for Autodesk Gmax and Gmax game pack users can be found at the official Gmax support web site.
I have searched for an alternative thread in these forums, and I can't find one :). I've started to design an aircraft in FSDSV2, so it doesn't affect me. The Flight Simulator design team use it, and they are trying to sort this situation out!
10-20-2005, 07:58 AM
There's a lot of gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes, wails of despair .....
gmax remains a good modelling program for flight simulator. While no new registrations will be available after Nov.1, there's a well known (and accepted) registration workaraound.
For the Microsoft Flight Simulator team it's not such a big deal - they also support other programs, which is why you have makemdl.exe - so that ANY program that can export/provide a direct x file can be used.
gmax was a convenient, powerful and most importantly, FREE tool. There are other free modelling programs out there that can either export to a direct x file or be converted to it. Are they as feature rich as gmax? MAybe not, maybe yes.
For too long Microsoft did not actively support 3rd party developers, and the available programs were the product of dedicated sleuths. Microsoft, since FS2002, has officially recognized the impact of the 3rd party developer providing content, and can concentrate not on developing content, but enhancing and creating new features to the Microsoft engine.
As far as modelling programs go, I'm not giving up on FSDS, but I'm not adverse to dipping into other programs - gmax, TrueSpace4 (btw TrueSpace3 is now free from Caligari).
In the grand scheme of things, it's a hiccup, but not a show stopper - the toy still works.
Pegasus Aviation Design
"As of October 6, 2005, Autodesk will no longer offer Gmax® software as a STAND-ALONE product" This could well mean that it will still be offered bundled with FS. I bet anyone who bought FS after 6 October still found GMax on the disks.
On a wider point, all the developers will already have as many copies of GMax as they need so where's the difficulty?
10-23-2005, 02:33 AM
>I bet anyone who bought FS after 6 October still found GMax on the disks.
That is a given. I mean, Microsoft isnt going to recall all their games because Autodesk crapped out on us...
10-23-2005, 07:42 PM
I didn't know gmax was made by Autodesk. Doesn't the startup screen say discreet or something?
Is 3ds max v.8 any better than 5? I almost put my foot through my computer moniter from the frustration of using that junk x(
What a bummer...
10-23-2005, 08:46 PM
>I didn't know gmax was made by Autodesk. Doesn't the startup
>screen say discreet or something?
>Is 3ds max v.8 any better than 5? I almost put my foot through
>my computer moniter from the frustration of using that junk x(
>What a bummer...
Autodesk bought discreet about a year or so ago, way after gmax 1.2 came out. Discreet was carried as a separate "brand" until recently.
3DSMax 8 is way better than 5 - and just as "difficult" to learn.
Pegasus Aviation Design
10-24-2005, 01:51 PM
>While no new registrations will be available after Nov.1,
>there's a well known (and accepted) registration workaraound.
I would be interested to know this workaround. I have gmax installed on two PC's, so I should be fine for anything short of a major disaster. It would be nice to know, however, just in case.
10-24-2005, 03:28 PM
>"As of October 6, 2005, Autodesk will no longer offer Gmax®
>software as a STAND-ALONE product" This could well mean that
>it will still be offered bundled with FS. I bet anyone who
>bought FS after 6 October still found GMax on the disks.
>On a wider point, all the developers will already have as many
>copies of GMax as they need so where's the difficulty?
I should think the "difficulty" would be obvious! GMax doesn't natively export the .x files from which MakeMDL.exe compiles a .mdl file!
If Microsoft is no longer allowed to update the export.dll, then GMax is effectively DEAD as far as content creation...:D Either that, or .mdl compiling would remain "frozen in time" and MSFS couldn't add new features.
The difficulty isn't obvious.
The recent announcement has no effect on those of us who have the FS2004 Gamepack. We can continue to create aircraft and scenery models just as we did before.
The comments about the future are speculation. They seem to assume that:
1 - There would be an improved version of GMax with additional features that would be suitable for flight simulation and which MS would incorporate into FS.
2 - That MS can't incorporate into FS any features in GMax 1.2 that it hasn't already incorporated.
BTW what is "export.dll"? I can create aircraft and scenery models using the FS2004 Gamepack. The only "export.dll" on my PC is one that came with a business-card package and is copyright to the developer of that package.
10-26-2005, 07:20 AM
>The difficulty isn't obvious.
>The recent announcement has no effect on those of us who have
>the FS2004 Gamepack. We can continue to create aircraft and
>scenery models just as we did before.
>The comments about the future are speculation. They seem to
>1 - There would be an improved version of GMax with additional
>features that would be suitable for flight simulation and
>which MS would incorporate into FS
>2 - That MS can't incorporate into FS any features in GMax 1.2
>that it hasn't already incorporated.
>BTW what is "export.dll"? I can create aircraft and scenery
>models using the FS2004 Gamepack. The only "export.dll" on my
>PC is one that came with a business-card package and is
>copyright to the developer of that package.
The "export.dll is really "FSModelExp.dle" which is found in the gamepack plugins folder, and is actually what converts the gmax scene into the direct.x file which is the "real" file that makemdl.exe uses to compile the final mdl file.
So: Since gmax is "dead code" (note that it remains a powerful modelling tool/program) Microsoft no longer have the "permission" to develop the converter plugin that would take more advantage of gmax's fueatures/capabilities. Your point #2 therefore is correct.
(presumption: Autodesk also froze the development rights/licenses to the gamepacks, so that Microsoft really doesn't have the legal rights to develop the FSModelExp.dle further)
Pegasus Aviation Design
Thanks. But does anyone know, and I mean KNOW, what are the details of the agreement between Autodesk and MS? The Gamepack SDK is still available for download.
BTW FSModelExp.dle's Product Name is "3D Studio MAX R3 Plug-In DLL"
10-31-2005, 04:29 PM
Well, there is a NEWS post at RWY12 that gave out this alert (and take note of price!)
"Autodesk, who bought Discreet - the developer of Gmax, a few months ago decided to stop support for this freeware tool starting Oct. 6th 2005. Their intension(sic) is to offer game developers their own 3D Studio Max program, a tool that goes for $3,500. [That's what they say--go to the link below to see for youself!]
Stoping(sic) support means; You can't download Gmax 1.2 from Discreet or TurboSquid and more important, you will not get an authorization code for the product if you find the download somewhere else or have to reinstall it on your PC for some reason.
In other words, keep your Gmax alive and working.
Replacing Gmax with another program is not easy because unless you have a "Direct X" exporter available for making the MakeMDL, you can't use the 3D models you make in FS2004. According to some posts in avsim forums, Microsoft includes exporters for 3DS Max and Maya (another expensive 3D program) in the Direct X SDK.
We all hope that the designer community will solve this problem, because otherwise we, scenery and aircraft designers alike, are in big trouble..."
10-31-2005, 04:47 PM
These posts from Queensland, Australia, were put up two days after the above-quoted post on the RWY12 Forum:
"Following on from Seev's news item. It is still possible to download, register and get an installation key code for GMax from Turbosquid - I can confirm that I did this last night - Users of GMax who can't readily find and backup the original GMax.exe installation file and/or their key code have until 1 Nov. 2005 to download again from Turbosquid, register and get a key code and save them somewhere so that in the event (which is sure to happen in the future, sometime) they have to re-install or install to another system they will be able to re-install. Apparently, if you have the installation .exe and a key code, you can re-install and activate GMax by changing the system date to match the date of the original key code. After 1 Nov. 2005 there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a key code from anywhere. Tony"
"Here's the link to the Turbosquid download site for GMax...
this will take you directly to the GMax downloads which I wasn't able to find by just going to the Turbosquid site... Tony"
10-31-2005, 07:17 PM
At the Turbosquid gmax support forums it was announced a few days ago that Autodesk has had a "change of heart" and will continue to make gmax and new registrations available at Turbosquid for an unspecified period.
Basically, things are back to "normal". Gmax - "in its present form" will not be updated - not that modders care, since it probably is more powerful that some games can handle anyway, but if the all important licenses to gmax-dev may are not renewable, either, then the few existing gamepack developers probably can't continue developing their gamepacks. So, unless a workaround is found, those games are either "frozen" or the models created will not be supporting newer features.
Pegasus Aviation Design
10-31-2005, 07:43 PM
An interesting snippet from that same announcement:
"Our plans still include a ramp down of support on this version of Gmax – the technology does not reflect the capabilities of the current 3ds max release, nor is it ready in its current form to take advantage of pending changes to the windows operation system that will be exposed with the Vista release."
I added the bold emphasis to highlight that Autodesk may very well in the future develop Gmax 2.0 that will take advantage of Windows Vista, and perhaps more features available in later releases of Max. My fingers are crossed.
11-02-2005, 01:25 PM
>Thanks. But does anyone know, and I mean KNOW, what are the
>details of the agreement between Autodesk and MS? The Gamepack
>SDK is still available for download.
>BTW FSModelExp.dle's Product Name is "3D Studio MAX R3 Plug-In
Yes, I know, yet you continue to challenge everything I write as though I were nothing more than the average knuckle dragger. Why is that?
The "Product Name" is hardly surprising, since GMax is not much more than a rewarmed version of 3dSMax v3.x to begin with. The FS game studio originally wrote the export plugin to use with 3dSMax, which is what they were using "in house" for their own game content development.
Eleven companies in total paid Discreet (now Autodesk) for the licensed right to create the necessary "gamepack plugins" their particular platforms required, and also bought the SDK necessary to produce those export plugins.
At this point in time, those game studios/developers are legally prohibited from making and distributing updates to their plugins, which, as has already been pointed out by Felix, effectively "freezes" any possibility of changing their platform's feature set, or at the very least imposes potential compatibility issues with models produced using the now obsolete export plugins.
11-07-2005, 05:10 AM
Actually it is still available for free I just downloaded it the other night. It is free and you can also find free tutorials in flashplayer or streaming media. Also you may find textures and other 3D files to go with it. I think I even saw some Boeing and even Airbus A380 models for free that just need your input for textures and movements and sequences of movements for free.
So it is still available. Just look for it.
I think I found it under discreet gmax
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