[Time-saving Tips] Daz to 3ds Max Bridge Biggest Takeaways

onyxlee_9b3cce7f35onyxlee_9b3cce7f35 Posts: 67
edited August 2020 in Daz Studio Discussion

This post is mostly to clarify some confusion and inaccurate statements in the official FAQ.

This one describes the issues I had. The second post below has a more specific conclusion.

1, the figure has to be in a neutral pose! You can then transfer everything from Daz to Max 2021 perfectly. But as long as the figure is posed in Daz Studio, the skin and bones are messed up. Some bone rotation in Daz didn't go through. The connection with CAT rig still needs some work.

2, The clothes have lots of poke-through due to the inaccurate character position. Screenshot comparison in the attachment. Left is Daz, right is Max. In this case, the bridge character is 5 units above its correct position.

3, you have to set up a lot of materials in Max. When I saw the temp file was FBX, I had a feeling that the materials will not carry SSS, coating, emission and such, only the most basic ones, color, opacity and bump. Turned out I was right. The bridge so far is only good to import a fully rigged CAT character, we will have to manually wire all the materials and textures. Even the plugin's material converter can't do much since FBX can't carry anything but diffuse and bump. Look at all the materials in the cornea, tear, omg, that's tons of work... I guess I will still do my still frame in Daz Studio, although it doesn't support VDB, volume lighting and all.

The second attachment is a quick Arnold render right after import. It looks really lifeless.

1756 x 733 - 173K
468 x 426 - 53K
Post edited by onyxlee_9b3cce7f35 on


  • onyxlee_9b3cce7f35onyxlee_9b3cce7f35 Posts: 67
    edited August 2020

    I just read through the FAQ https://helpdaz.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360046689051-FAQs-for-3ds-Max-Bridge, together with my new testings and comparisons, here is my conclusion, hope it helps saving you some time.

    FAQ: What Items/Daz product features will not transfer over to 3ds Max using the bridge?​
    Poses should not be transferred, as they will break the rigging.

    Very true, wish I found it earlier.

    FAQ: I just want to import directly into 3ds Max, do I have to use the bridge?
    The bridge isn’t the only way you can use Daz content in 3ds Max — your other option is to purchase Daz items that have 3ds Max file formats, download the manual files and upload them directly into 3ds Max. Select items in the store also include .obj files, which can be either be added directly or converted for use in your software of choice. Otherwise, you can export certain content out of Studio as .obj or .fbx files for use in third party software.

    Not exactly. Turns out the FBX and the bridge (also via FBX) are NOT vertex accurate. It took me tons of frustration to find out that ONLY OBJ and Alembic are vertex accurate. See my comparison below:

    Red is FBX export, underlay image is Daz studio render.

    Bridge sometimes is not even as good as FBX, in this case below, the figure is 5 Max units above the actual position. Green is FBX, red is the bridge.

    FAQ: Should I pose/add textures in Studio, or in 3ds Max?
    Posing is advised in 3ds Max — poses in Studio will transfer successfully to Max, but may break the rigging.  For Textures, it’s up to you and your preference. You can add textures in Studio before transfer, or continue to pose and texture your character in 3ds Max after the transfer.

    Poses will transfer 90% successfully, with some vertice discrepancies. For textures, the bridge transfers 5% of them. So the FAQ is not accurate.

    Currently, the bridge can NOT transfer any texture other than diffuse, opacity and bump, even the material converter won't help. So for production, you will need to manually set up all the rest of your textures that are lost in the translation, such as:
    translucent color,
    specular reflectivity,
    roughness map,
    many SSS info, such as SSS reflectance tint, transmitted color, SSS color...

    Hope this helps.

    Post edited by onyxlee_9b3cce7f35 on
  • Do any of you guys use 3ds Max bridge at all? Or does blender bridge get the most attention here?

  • TheKDTheKD Posts: 2,597

    I am sure there are some people that will find this tip useful. There has to be some people that want to bring daz people into max. Blender is probably seeming more popular, because it's free for anyone to download and try if they like it easily.

  • @TheKD, thank you for your reply, haha. You are right, the blender section here seems more active than any other sub-groups. I am so tired of spending SOOOOO much time dealing with the technical limits and figuring out my own workaround, knowing that all my effort will be useless once their next and better version comes out...

  • I know this is an older post, but well, here goes.  I tried using daz to 3ds max bridge, and I have 3ds max 2021, and 3ds max 2021 got an error saying that the script can't start with an "0", has anyone ever ran into this?

  • @vsndesigns, sorry, I haven't run into that issue. May I suggest only use t-pose and make sure to follow the instruction to install max script step by step?

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