If Wunderboy’s tools work best for you, use them. I collaborated a good amount with Neil during the last couple of years he was still working on them and have great respect for him and his tools.
For the best results with Wall Worm, you will need a few things:
1) Ability to realize it doesn’t work exactly like the old plugins for setting up your models and materials.
2) Often, the newer versions of Max work better.
3) Almost all versions of Max should have the latest Service Pack installed. There are some versions of Max (like 2012, 2013 and 2014) that simply will not work correctly with WW unless you install the latest service packs.
The next set of tips are these:
Importing Into Max
1) For using the SMD Importer to work as most users will expect, turn off ALL of the general options.
2) When importing a QC where you don’t want LODs, check the Skip LODs options.
3) If you want to import a standalone SMD (and not a whole QC) change the File Type from QC to SMD in the import file dialog.
Exporting Into Source
1) Wall Worm’s SMD Exporter supports using either Smoothing Groups or Explicit Normals. Use Explicit Normals if you brought the model in via FBX/Maya or if you add an Edit Normals Modifier.
2) WW uses the Material Name and NOT the diffuse bitmap for the SMD exporter’s designation of face materials.
3) In a classical model setup, turn OFF Rotate Origin and Use Local Origin as World Origin. Only use the Rotate Origin and Local Origin if you have experimented and read the docs and understand what they are for.
4) Your model’s XForm should always be reset. Do not scale at the object level… but if you do, remember to reset the XForm.
I have helped countless people over the years with various levels of Max/Source knowledge. This set of tips covers solving 95% of all problems that are brought to my attention. Most problems that users face with WW are solved very easily. But I am far more prone to help when the same respect I have shown all of this community is reciprocated.
When there is a problem in something that WW is doing, email me. If there is actually a bug, I will fix it. If there is just a confusion, I will answer questions. With a little education, you will find that the SMD Exporter works just fine. All things in WW are not automated as insinuated above. They are only as automated as you want them to be.
As for the importer code in WW, it started, ironically, from MarioKart64. The code posted above was donated to WW. I’ve adapted it to fit inside WW. And the errors mentioned with that code above were fixed in the WW version, as well as various problems from skin problems in Max 2014-2015. Posting it here as an alternative to WW shows, again, a lack of understanding about WW.
Yes, there is always room to improve anything (like WW). Just like anyone else, I’ve used programs that yielded unexpected results. My first recourse is to go to the documentation, then the developer, if I am not getting the result I want. Your best place for a helpful answer to using WW is over on the WW forums. You’ll get an answer or a bug fix.
Asking questions here will likely result in answers from people who do not necessarily understand how WW works.