3ds Max - Which version should I get?

A pretty quick question, I would like to know which version of 3ds Max I should use. I want to use the Wall Worm Tools for it so I can make Source-engine maps from models, obj files and so on. Help is greatly appreciated, thanks.

Wallworm’s tools are (to my knowledge) compatible with 3DS Max 2012 and up. I’d say to use either the 2012 or 2014 editions, though.

2012 is the best in my opinion because of the compatability with the smd exporter and vtf plugin by wunderboy.

Alright, thanks both of you for your help. I will try the 2012 version.

My input: I have 2010 and use Wall Worm and SMD/VTA plugins just fine

I recommend using 3Ds Max 9, because most of the plugins are written for it.

I use 12 and 14 pretty interchangeably. The experience is essentially the same, just that 12 plays friendly with more 3rd party stuff.

2012 is a great edition - there are a ton of tutorials done in 12 out there that assume you have the graphite modeling tools and features that aren’t present in 9, and it’s the most recent version that still uses autodesk’s older viewport shader, which is required for some of max’s most popular plugins. For source, it’s also naively compatible with the standalone smd/vta plugins, which gives you options if you want something more lightweight then wallworm.

Furthermore, you can save .max files backwards compatible with 2010 - and for people that do use 14, 14 can save files that are backwards compatible to 12.

As the developer of Wall Worm, my suggestion is to use the very latest version of Max that suits your needs. For me, it is currently 3ds Max 2014 as it has the best viewport performance to date and adds some essential modeling capabilities (ability to pan/rotate during spline creation and editable poly cutting are big deals in my book).

Also, there are features in WW that do not necessarily work in older Max. (Quick Hull may not work in older versions of Max and the Display Walkable for displacements requires Max 2011+).

As of today, I recommend 3ds Max 2014 with SP5. I test 99% in the current latest version of Max and do not test in older versions very much at all.

Max 2015 is coming soon, and it will not be long before I move to that. The new Max will have ShaderFX, and I may find a way to integrate that into the WW pipeline.

Regarding suggestions of saving between versions of Max. It’s certainly a possibility, but generally seems like a large hassle to me. If you do this for the legacy SMD exporters, you may want to start moving onto the WW SMD exporter instead. It supports Explicit Normals and arbitrary mapping channels. A discussion of this will be in a soon-to-be-released book on using Wall Worm.