With our recent upgrade to Max 9, and TGEA a great deal of new technicalities and little glitches have cropped up.
One of which is the new behavior of Max 9s XRef system and the way that affects the DTS Exporter, especially in terms of the material handling!
Basically the guys at Autodesk have changed the materials on XRef to actually import an ‘XRef Material’. This XRef Material is great in a manner of speaking. It works exactly the way the old Max 7 XRef Material worked. By updating from the Source XRef file. In Max 7 however the XRef Material was referenced as a full material, allowing you to modify it within your XRef’d scene. However as soon as you made any modification to this Material the link was broken and that material became stored within your XRef’d scene. Having this material as part of the physical scene made the difference between the Torque Exporter seeing your material, or as it is now in Max 9.. not seeing your material. The new ‘XRef Material’ does not allow you to access that Materials parameters at all, which keeps the link to the Source XRef file safe.
The Max 9 DTS Exporter see’s the ‘XRef Material’ as an ‘Invalid Material’ and will not export your model, due to the fact that it cannot see the Materials Parameters. Thus when setting up an XRef in Max 9 you need to make sure that you tick the ‘Merge Materials’ radio box.
This solves all of your DTS Exporter problems. However (yup always) as soon as you Merge Materials into your scene you are breaking any link back to the Source XRef file. This means that the Material in the XRef’d file is independent of the Source XRef scene.
So be careful to make sure you manually update both scenes, with regards to Materials!!