Light Bake Material Issues using the 3DS Max Exporter

(Frekky12) #1

Hi Sketchfab,

I've been working on a project with a friend to complete a floor on the polycount tower project and have been running into some problems along the way. Many of them have been fixed by the advice you've given me previously but there are stil 2 issues I would like to address.

Firstly, I was wondering if there was a way to get the light bake to render more realistic glass as the glass I have right now doesn't reflect the 3d properties of the geometry behind it. As I would like to preserve the lighting, I don't think a manual upload by OBJ or FBX would be benficial to me.

Another thing I was wondering was where the light bake images are stored before the upload process. This would be helpful to know as sometimes, the light bake has finished but the internet crashes and therefore it doesn't upload.

If you'd like to see our latest test scene, my friend Rhys has uploaded a test render to his account on this link:

Baking emission maps, bump, transparency, ambient occlusion
Transparent object with visible internal parts

cc @klaasnienhuis

I believe the exporter cannot ignore specific geometries, like glass, to keep them separate from the bake, and I'm not sure about the texture save location.

(Klaasnienhuis) #3

Indeed, all geometry is treated equally. The current publisher can't separate objects based on material or other properties. It would be a great feature to add though. This makes it easier to get the best of both worlds: baked shadows from 3dsMax and awesome looking shaders from sketchfab. nudge nudge wink wink

The baked textures are erased when the model is uploaded or if an error occurs. This is by design to avoid "hijacking" of the script for other platforms. This is by design.


This might be too convoluted as a workaround...

  • remove the glass from the scene
  • bake, upload
  • grab the model and baked textures from Sketchfab (enable download temporarily)
  • re-open the model, put your glass back in
  • export with your baked geometries and the separate glass

Are there other baking tools in 3dsMax? You could avoid the upload/download step by baking manually, add your glass, then use the exporter with baking turned off.

(Bart) #5

Could you limit baking to specific layers in your scene?

(Frekky12) #6

Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your comments! I've set up 2 computers to light bake without the windows and test out the process James suggested.

If not, texture baking and light baking locally on 3ds max may be the way to go. As for baking to specific layers, there may be a way to do this but I don't personally know if it's possible.

I'll let you know of my progress and if my scene ultimately works how I'd like it to!

(Klaasnienhuis) #7

I can confirm that currently the workflow proposed by @james is the way to go: bake without glass and upload, download that model, put the glass back in and upload the entire thing without baking.

Otherwise you can always use the render to texture function in 3ds Max and bake the model yourself. It's the same system the script uses in the background.

(Frekky12) #8

Hi everyone, I've been working hard to try and get this light bake to work with the combined glass. Unfortunately, each bake takes at least 3 days to complete and there have been many occasions where it's crashed along the way. However, I did manage to get a light bake of 20 uploaded a while ago on one of the uni computers and I'd like to download it so I can combine the file with a no glass light bake which has just finished rendering today. The link to the file I'd like to download is here: and the image shows the issue I'm getting:

If it's possible to download this file, I should finally be able to complete this project!


I've seen this before. Usually you have to wait until the model is completely loaded, and it can take a while to generate the download link.

If you're waiting there a long time and it still doesn't work, try turning download off and back on again. I've gotten that to fix it on a different model.

(Frekky12) #10

Hi James

Thanks for your reply! Removing the download button and putting it back again fixed the problem! I am so close to finishing it now. Everything is working now except for the glass. I have combined the best parts of my 2 best light bakes yesterday but the glass still doesn't want to work. I've uploaded with glass created using a standard scanline glass material, a mental ray glass material and a VRay glass material but none seem to be working. They all change the glass to a standard diffuse. How would you upload glass in 3DS Max? Here is my latest Sketchfab Upload:

(Frekky12) #11

I've got the glass working smile I'll let you know when it's done!


Beautiful work!

I would love to see a detailed workflow if you're interested in writing about it.


cc @klaasnienhuis @cedric, This model has 80 separate 2k textures. Would have to test it, but at this point the large number of textures might be hurting performance just as mush as the size of the texture.

In conversation with @gerpho we concluded that 4k is a good cutoff if you need a lot textures. Maybe the 3ds Max plugin could have 4k as the maximum size? (I can include this in a "how do you want this improved" poll, too).

(Frekky12) #13

Hi James,

Thanks for your comment! Luckily, my friend and I have been keeping track on what we've been doing most of the time in the form of a blog. Once the blog is completed, I'd be happy to send it to you. As for performance, the uni computers seem to be handling the project pretty well but the internet here is really quick so that may be contributing to it!

Here's the link to my finalized model:


It's great! You're pushing my poor computer's VRAM to the limit, but it works stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes

We'll get you added to the Tower as soon as we can!

(Klaasnienhuis) #15

Max texturesize could be an option the user picks from a list. This would allow you to do a quick bake with 1k textures and a final bake with 4k textures for instance.

(Frekky12) #16

Hi James and anyone else who'd like to see it,

As requested, here is a link to the blog we did:

Have a good day!

(Klaasnienhuis) #17

Hi @frekky12, that's an impressive report! It's good to see that you managed to pull it off finally. I'm confident we'll have at least support for transparency in the 3ds Max publisher one day! Possibly also a feature to chunk up a single scene into multiple uploads.

I was honored to read in your report that I'm the creator of Sketchfab (page 28). I wish I was, but I'm not! I wrote the 3ds Max to Sketchfab publisher, but that's about it...

(Frekky12) #18

Hi @klaasnienhuis, thanks for your praise! I've been very busy lately trying to get a showreel together to apply for an internship at the film company MPC in London over part of the Summer holiday. My showreel can be viewed here if you'd like to see it: Thanks for correcting me! I assumed that since you created the script for Sketchfab, you'd also created Sketchfab itself. I'll make that amend on the blog!

(Richardlockett) #19

Support for transparency would be an amazing feature too add, are there any plans for this? This would perfect the exporter in my opinion :smile: and really open it up to the design industry more

(Richardlockett) #20

hey @klaasnienhuis, are there any plans to update the exporter to reflect material choices or transparency differences? iā€™d love to discuss with you the series of scripts I have to use to emulate this, but would love to see all those wrapped in your " 1 click exporter" :slight_smile: