Free 30 day trial of 3ds Max
discreet.com/3dsmax (click the tab on the left when the page loads)
i'll take this opportunity to remind you this THIS download is legal, but warez is not!! read the forum rules for more info.
Renderware DFF exporter
.X file exporter
PandaSoft free .X exporter
Max 4 and newer-
Kam was kind enough to write some MaxScripts that allow DFF importing and exporting directly from max, as well as collision editing, animation editing, and import/exporting of maps. get his scripts here:
Kam's MaxScript Tools
Kam's GTAF Topic
Steve M created a couple maxscripts of his own; one for importing paths, and another, alternate script for exporting collision data. They can be found here:
Edit by Steve: A yet unreleased path exporter beta can be found here.
Texporter, invaluable tool for helping with texturing. No max install should be without it.
tool for doing any necessary conversions on dffs. (some from max 3 could use it)
RW Analyze topic
I don't want to lock this, as it could be very handy, so please, if you have any questions, make sure you have first read all available documentation, tutorials, readme files, everything. do google and forum searches, and pm the author of the tool if possible (in Kams case). Try to only post in this topic if announcing that a link is dead, or you have something useful to contribute.
Original Max topic by werre
Unpinned due to age, clutter, spam, incompleteness..
There are answers everywhere (as evidenced below), so Questions here will be deleted and not answered!!!
(i threw this together kind of fast, there is nothing gta-specific in these tutorials, but they should help you get a better feel for the software and underlying concepts. may be sorted into categories later)
Useful Selection of "Beginner" tutorials
Beginners Guide to 3ds Max - written for max 4, but most of the info is still relevant
General Info, misc tuts
UVs and Texturing:
UVW Unwrapping (aka texture "skinning", or just skinning)
Setting up UVs (texture coordinates)
Mapping and Unwrapping Basics
Waylon-Art.com - UVW Tut
Modeling a Biped With Primitives (beginner)
Joan of Arc - one of the best human-modeling tutorials available anywhere
Box Modeling a Car (very good)
Poly Modeling a Gun
Modelling a city with Greeble
Remember, these tutorials show you general methods, and are not limited to the projects they show off! So for joan of arc, you don't have to model a female clad in armor, or for the Fiat 500, you don't don't have to model that particular car, the skills you learn can be applied to other projects. Its all about the learning.
And there are of course, a ton of tutorials and websites that i left out, but if you have some handy links, or you found something useful that i dont have here, by all means post it
Excellent 3d Sites in general:
http://www.3dtotal.c...f -> Tutorials)
OnnoVanBraam - Excellent place for vehicles, both tutorials and blueprints
Thanks to Augh for the following links:
very handy 3ds max plugins, to make poly modeling easier
Don't let the url fool you, these are good. one of the few legit reasons to register @ fileplanet (to read the tutorials, you have to)
Bake Vertex colors into a texture