Max Scene Files
Max has its own proprietary format for its scene files. These files have the .max extension and allow you to save your work as a file and return to it at a later time. Max also supports files saved with the .chr extension used for character files.
Max starts with a new scene. You can start a new scene from the menu selection “File>New” or press the (Ctrl+N) keyboard shortcut.
On executing the new command, a new scene dialog box appears. The options available for a new scene are:
Keep Objects and Hierarchy
This keeps the objects and the hierarchical links between them, but removes any animation keys.
This keeps the objects in the scene, but removes any links between them and any animation keys.
New All (Default)
This clears the contents of the current scene. When creating a new scene, you can keep the current objects or select New All.
Figure 2-1: New Scene Dialog Box
A max scene can be saved as a file by choosing “File>Save” menu command or pressing the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+S).
Before a file is saved, the word “Untitled” appears in the title bar; after you save this file, the name of the file appears in the title bar.
If the scene hasn’t been saved yet, then a “Save File As” dialog box appears. You can also make this dialog box appear using the File> Save As command.
After a file has been saved, using the File>Save command saves the file without opening the File dialog box.
Figure 2-2: Save File As Dialog Box
The buttons in “Save File As” dialog box are the standard Windows file dialog box buttons used to go to the last folder visited, go up one directory, create a new folder, or to view a pop-up menu of file view options.
Clicking the button with a plus sign to the right of the Save button automatically appends a number onto the end of the current filename and saves the file. For example, if you select the hero.max file and click the plus button, a file named hero01.max is saved.
You can also save only selected objects by choosing “File>Save Selected” menu command. This saves the current selected objects to a separate scene file.
A Save Copy As menu command is also available that lets you save the current scene to a different name without changing its current name.
You can open an existing scene file by using the “File>Open” menu command or keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+O). This opens a file dialog box similar to “File Save As” dialog box, where you can select an existing or previously saved scene file.
Max can open files with the .max or .chr extension. It can also open VIZ render files with the .drf extension.
Selecting a file and clicking on the plus button opens a copy of the selected file with a new version number appended to its name.
If Max cannot locate resources used within a scene (such as maps) when you open a Max file, then the “Missing External Files” dialog box appears, enabling you to Continue without the file or to Browse for the missing files.
If you click the Browse button, the Configure External File Paths dialog box opens, where you can add a path to the missing files.
Figure 2-3: Missing External Files Dialog Box
The most recently opened scenes are listed in the File>Open Recent submenu. Selecting these scenes from the list opens the scene file.
If you want to reuse the objects or meshes from other scenes, you can use the Merge menu command.
You can choose File>Merge menu command to load objects from another scene into the current scene. Using this menu command opens a file dialog box that is exactly like the Save As dialog box, but after you select a scene and click the Open button, the Merge dialog box, appears. This dialog box displays all the objects found in the selected scene file. It also has options for sorting the objects and filtering certain types of objects. Selecting an object and clicking the OK button loads the object into the current scene.
The Merge dialog box lists all the objects from a merging scene.
Figure 2-4: Merge Dialog Box