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Up until the new 2011 version of 3ds Max, wanting to take a wireframe scene file saved in the current version of the software back to a previous release of the application required not saving but exporting your file. Taking it away from the standard .max file extension and instead choosing something like the 3ds or FBX formats in order to both be able to open and work on your file. Unfortunately, those other formats would many times lose or leave something out during the transition backwards. Missing mapping coordinates or abnormalities in the geometry were typically two of the problematic areas.
It just seemed like there was always something that you'd have to go back and fix and repair. Chances are pretty good you know exactly what I am talking about. Max 2011 has a brand new Save As Previous feature that you can now use when wanting to take a file back to 3ds Max 2010. Here's how it works. This is a file named Save As Previous. Let's go ahead and first try saving this out in the usual manner, using the Save As command up in the application menu. We'll go under the button and then simply click on Save As. Now, staying in the Chapter 4 folder in the Exercise Files, let's name this NEW Max Chair.
Why don't we now, fearing that the 2011 format won't correctly transfer backwards, save instead by exporting? We are going to try both the 3ds and FBX formats. We'll go back to the application menu, this time choosing Export. Making sure to save in the Chapter 4 folder in the Exercise Files, let's first start with the 3ds format. We'll name this 3ds Chair. We can go ahead and accept the default Export option. Okay. Let's go back in, this time exporting in the FBX format.
We'll change Save as type over to the Filmbox, and this time use the name FBX Chair. Again, we can accept the default Export options. Let's open up Max 2010 and see what we can do. Just as a way to keep the two version of the software separate, I went ahead and lightened up the interface a tad in our 2010 version. Well, why don't we first try opening up that Max scene file saved in 2011. To the application menu, we'll simply click on Open.
Let's now navigate to the Chapter 4 folder in the Exercise Files. From here, I'll choose NEW Max Chair. Well, just as I expected, Max slammed on the breaks, throwing a stop sign up saying, we are not going to let you bring in a 2011 saved out version back to 2010. We can go ahead and close the warning and then try the Import feature with our two saved out files. Let's go ahead and close out the box, and instead try and importing both the 3ds and FBX files.
We'll choose Import. Let's go first with the 3ds. We can again accept the default import settings and we'll say OK. So things look like they came in pretty clean. Let's go ahead and reset and then we'll import the FBX. Choosing instead FBX Chair. We can again accept everything the way it is and we'll say OK. So the two exported scene files seem to at least on the surface come in pretty clean.
Now, there is a chance though that we would find a few issues once we started digging deeper into the files. Those little issues though wouldn't be of concern if we could somehow keep things in the good old .max file format, which we can now do. Let's head on back into the new 2011 release. This time, back under the application menu, we'll choose Save As. The change we'll make though down at the bottom, under the Save as type, will change from 3ds Max to 3ds Max 2010.
Now, to keep things straight, why don't we rename this OLD Max Chair? Let's go back to Max 2010 and see what we can do. Under the application menu, I'll simply choose Open. We'll get back to the Chapter 4 folder, this time opening up OLD Max Chair. So there you go, 2011 back to 2010, both quick and easy. Now, next time you are moving a wireframe file back a version, you've got yourself a new, more reliable way to go.
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