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Getting the latest 3ds Max Bf2 Tools to work with Windows 10

The Problem:

The big problem upgrading the BF2 tools for 3ds max to work with newer versions of 3dsmax is that the helper apps used by the BF2 Tools are 32 bit, which is not compatible with newer versions of 3dsmax that are  64bit.    

3ds max BF2 Helper Tools:

Those helper tools are located here in the 3dsMax BF2 Tools download:

\scripts\bf2\bin\release

Sceneparse.exe

HMparts.exe

MergeTgaColors.exe

SceneParse.exe

Directx9

Directx9 is a sofware library that was used by a lot of 32 bit software when Windows XP was popular. Windows versions after XP don't have it by default, but it can be loaded if needed.

Sceneparser.exe, at least, requires directX9 files. Without it, any attempt to export will result in the creation of an empty output folder but with no error messages. The DirectX End User Runtine... can be found here  

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=8109   


Why not just stay with older 32 bit versions of 3dsmax?

Older versions of 3ds max and newer versions of Windows are not compatible.   Graphic artifacting is a huge problem, making it very difficult to use it for anything but for exporting.     There are some possible temporary solutions which can cut down on the issue, but nothing has been found to eliminate the problem.     Also, older versions of Windows are increasingly harder to keep working.   Without support, as systems die, newer systems don't support older versions of Windows, so your left with no option but to move to Windows 10 eventually.

Bad Download:

First of all, make sure you have good versions of the helper tools.   if your downloading the latest version of the tools from here:

https://git.cmp-gaming.com/Harmonikater/BF2-3dsMax-Tools

The bin\release tools are not downloading properly.  They download as 1 byte files.

You can copy them from the link to the the older version of the tools here:

https://www.realitymod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=145720

Or any other older link to the tools works as well, as these files have not changed since first release.

32 Bit Command files:

These Command files are 32 bit files.  They will not run natively in 64 bit.   They have to run in 32 bit environment.   The 32 bit environment is also called SYSWOW64, because it uses files from the SYSWOW64 folder to be able to run 32 bit dos apps in a 64 bit environment.   There are a couple of ways to let the OS know that these are 64 bit files.  Windows 7 and 8 seem to work automatically with 32 bit files with but Windows 10 is more focused on only using 64 bit apps.  

64 Bit programs incompatible with 32 bit apps solution:

Wait, but how can 32 bit commands be used with Windows 64 bit versions of 3dsmax?   This was a question I had wondered for some time.   The work around is that the BF3 3dsmax plugins create a batch file to kick off the 32 bit command files to do parts of the conversions, instead of trying to run these commands directly from the 3dsmax scripts.

Now, for windows 10 you have to more explicit.  One way to is set compatibility for each of the files in  

\scripts\bf2\bin\release

Right click on each one, select the compatibility tab and set for XP and admin access.

Using Links:

Another method to allow the 32 bit commands to work with the 64 bit version of 3dsmax is to put them in the \Program Files x86 folder and use links.    Anything in the \Program Files x86 is treated as a 32 Bit application.   This is more useful if you are running multiple versions of 3ds Max.     If you are using links, do not copy the BF2 3ds max tools into the 3ds Max folders.   You make one copy of the 3ds Max BF2 tools in the \Program Files x86 folder.   

NOTES:  Links need to be on the same drive.    Do not put real files where you have links.

The links need to be customized to your set up.   The following links are all needed.   I would suggest putting these in .bat file.    The first one is a directory link (/D).  The other two are file links.  In this example, this tools are located in C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master and the link to from  C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2019

mklink /D "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2019\scripts\bf2" "C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master\scripts\bf2
mklink "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2019\plugins\bf2_mat_staticmesh2.ms" "C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master\plugins\bf2_mat_staticmesh2.ms
mklink "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2019\plugins\game_battlefield2.dlx" "C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master\plugins\game_battlefield2.dlx
 So links for max 2009 would like this:
mklink /D "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2009\scripts\bf2" "C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master\scripts\bf2
mklink "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2009\plugins\bf2_mat_staticmesh2.ms" "C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master\plugins\bf2_mat_staticmesh2.ms
mklink "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\3ds Max 2009\plugins\game_battlefield2.dlx" "C:\Program Files (x86)\BF2-3dsMax-Tools-master\plugins\game_battlefield2.dlx

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