Ten steps to a Ryzom game models to iClone conversion:
1. Load up a Max file blind (since almost none of them have thumbnail previews, and Max is not a format that has Windows-native previews), based on the folder name and file name.
2. Slog through all the warnings from Max, and when the missing textures list box appears make a screenshot of the list of missing textures. Hopefully there are only a few textures to find and replace. They should usually be located in the same folder, but are sometimes scattered across two or three. Unfortunately there is no way to edit this list and then reload it.
3. Watch the model turn black. Apparently Autodesk can’t afford to develop a simple module to search a folder and find and apply name-matching textures when the file-types have been changed. There is a free third-party script for that — but it just gave me error messages.
4. At the top menu bar, find the MAXScript Listener button. Click it and open the MAXScript box. Now type Geometry.material = undefined and press enter. This strips all textures. Max’s handling of textures and material libraries is generally a complete nightmare, so I don’t suggest trying to replace textures in Max if you’re not a Max expert.
5. Now you can at least see the model more clearly. Select it and export the model as a .3ds file. Close Max.
6. Load the exported model with 3DXchange 4. If you have problems with the model not having pre-defined texture areas, go back and skip step 4 — just export as a black model instead. However, you will then have to go through the tedious process of setting the model’s ambient colour to “white” for all materials.
7. Now view that “missing textures” screenshot you took earlier. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the folder(s) which contains the model’s textures. These seem to be mostly .png files, so Windows should show you a preview. If you come across other types of game graphics files you may need to install some addons to preview them in Windows Explorer.
8. Now drag-and-drop the correct textures onto the relevant parts of the model in the 3DXchange 4 viewport. Some trial and error is needed to work out what goes where. Hopefully there won’t be more than a handful of textures to place on the model. Some models export without texture boundaries (e.g.: the Gibbai), making them essentially unconvertible except by Max experts.
9. Reset the models’ pivot point if needed, rescale it against the dummy, etc.