Taken from the gmax website:
gmax® is a free 3D modeling and animation tool based on Discreet's award-winning 3ds max® software. Built for gamers to create their own in-game content for gmax ready games, a gamer can produce everything from characters and vehicles to landscapes and props. Not only do you get to customize your games, you also learn 3D design within a professional-level tool.
Note, discreet has stopped the development of GMAX.
How to use Gmax models in Unreal
Unfortunatly there has never been an official Unreal gamespack for Gmax, making it difficult to export models to Unreal. Follow these 5. steps to use Gmax as your modeller for Unreal.
1. First you will need to get Gmax, download it from Turbosquid. During the installation you will be asked for a serial code which can be attained through the registration link provided in the setup program. The registration is done at the Turbosquid site. Now create a model.
2. Now that you have Gmax, you will need the MD3 exporter to export the model outside of Gmax. You can download Quake-3 MD3 exporter beta v1.0 (ExportMD3_gmax_beta1.zip) from Browser ICE's home of Chris Cookson GMAX and 3d max plugins/scripts . MD3 is the format Quake3 uses for it's models. Put the dle file in the plugins directory. The next time you load Gmax, you will be able to export to the MD3 file format. From here it is only a small step.
3. Download the Quake3 to Doom3 file converter. Put the md3toASE file in the meshes directory of Gmax, it is all you will need. Go to the directory in the Command Prompt and use "md3toASE myfile.md3 myfile.ase" to convert your file. This converts the file to .ASE file format. Now your file will work in Doom3. However if you load it into UnrealEd, it will crash. This is due to a small bug in the .ASE file format that the converter produces.
4. You will need to manually edit the numbers of the faces of the ASE file to have a ':' behind them. Example:
Old: *MESH_FACE 0 A: 3 B: 1 C: 0 AB: 1 BC: 1 CA: 1 *MESH_SMOOTHING *MESH_MTLID 0
New: *MESH_FACE 0: A: 3 B: 1 C: 0 AB: 1 BC: 1 CA: 1 *MESH_SMOOTHING *MESH_MTLID 0
Also, edit the line with the filename of the texture that you used (All sides of the model need to be textured) to have the correct extension and remove the part that refers to Doom
- BITMAP "C:\mybitmap.bmp"
5. Now import your model in UnrealEd! Make sure to save your map before importing, a small error is enough to crash UnrealEd...
Tgusagalpa: As of October 6, 2005 GMax will no longer be offered as a free product, but you may have a free 30-day trial.
StarWeaver: Um, from the forum linked from this site Autodesk GMAX site, it looks like what's really happening is this:
- The current version of gmax will continue to be released as-is, but with no further support.
- At some future time, a new version of gmax, coded around windows vista, will be released and supported. (It looks like the whole problem here is that the application is too tightly bound to the current versions of the OS and won't run on the newer one without admin privledges or some such.)