Introduction to Exporting

First of all… what IS an Exporter?

To create 3D assets for sale in the IMVU Catalog, you need a way to get them from your chosen 3D Application to the Cal3D format that will work inside the IMVU Client. To do this we have created an Exporter that will work with 3D Studio Max 7 (and soon to support other applications). The Exporter will be automatically loaded into your 3D Studio Max Export Plug-ins directory and appear when it is time for you to export your models.

Once you have created all of your assets… your model is finished and textured, your Nodes are Linked and Mesh Weighted, you are ready to start Exporting your files for the Create Mode Editor . As a Creator, you will need to make sure you install the IMVU Exporter files and place them in your 3D Max PlugIns directory*. When it is time to Export it will be these specific file formats that you will be using most and manually importing into the Create Mode Editor.


In the case of ALL of these file formats, you will need to MANUALLY type in the suffix (i.e. .xsf etc.) for each Exported file. If you do not then the Exported file will not work in the Create Mode Editor .

These are the file formats the 3D Max Export window should offer you if you have correctly installed the Cal3D Export Plug-ins:

  • XSF
    When you Export your Skeleton or Root, with all of its Linked Nodes, you will be Exporting it as a Skeleton File, or .XSF
  • XMF
    All of your Meshes will be Exported as Mesh Files, or .XMF. Remember that your Mesh cannot be exported until it has been properly Weighted to either the Root/Skeleton Node, or to a Node linked to the Root/Skeleton. It is also important to remember to always export your Skeleton .XSF file FIRST, before exporting your Mesh files. This is also true if you make any changes to either your Node placements, or even a single vertex in your product. When making any change, it is safest to re-Export everything, starting with the .XSF file.
  • XRF
    It is no longer necessary to manually export XRF files to the Create Mode Editor, this is now done automatically (hurray!)
  • XAF
    This is the file format for Skeleton (Node) Animations (and the Meshes Weighted to them) that add movement your model.
  • XPF
    This is the file format for Exporting Morph Animations that alter or deform the Mesh in any way.

Each Export type is described in depth in their own tutorials, so we highly recommend you review these as you work your way through the process of bringing your design from your 3D application into the Create Mode Editor and Catalog.

* PlugIn Exporters for other 3D applications are in the works, as well as Member created Exporters for programs like Blender.


Updated on July 21, 2023

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