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Importing World of Warcraft 3D Models to 3DS Max 2009


In this tutorial we are going to learn how to import 3D models with textures and animations to 3DS Max 2009.

The idea is to import models so we can export those later to Torchlight. Exporting will be covered in greater detail in a different tutorial.

You better know!

World of Warcraft is a Blizzard game. All rights to them. This tutorial is for learning reasons.

We are going to use old versions of the game and some tools. WoW is a game that is always getting updates and most likely new versions will deal with new problems. So please keep in mind to use the same versions as this tutorial if possible.

1. Installing plugins for 3DS Max

First have 3DS Max 2009 ready. You can see my How to Install 3DS Max 2009 here:

Then let's download the plugin for WoW.


Once we download the files, copy/paste them to your 3DS Max folder “C:\Program Files (x86)\Autodesk\3ds Max 2009”

  • Copy Plugins folder to your 3DS Max Plugins folder (easy).
  • But copy the files from the Scripts folder to the \Scripts\Startup folder. This will make 3DS Max to load the files from the start.

To check if everything is fine: open 3DS Max 2009 (usually an error will pop-up it's fine just click OK).

  1. Click on the Utilities Icon.
  2. Click on the MAXScript button.
  3. Select the entry WoW M2 Import/Export from the drop down menu.
  4. Click on Run Script and a small windows will appear (Light-Blue square on the picture below).

Ok so everything is correctly installed.

2. World of Warcraft the game and some tools

World of Warcraft The Game

So if we want WoW models we need the game. For this tutorial I'm using the version 1.12.1 (Vanilla WoW, the first game without any expansion).

Newer versions will work (I tried Pandaria and even newer expansions are in some ways working). But I choose this version because people is still sharing this game.

Download WoW THE GAME (Torrent):

As I explained before, this game is always getting updates. Do not update the game since the files are going to change and you won't be able to use the new ones.

Once we have the game files, we are not going to play the game! that's for gamers. We are modders. So we need a tool to see the files.

WoW Model Viewer - TOOL

WoW Model Viewer is an amazing tool. We can see all the 3d models from the game and their animations (weapons, creatures, armor, shields, props and EVERYTHING)

So let's go to their website and let's get an old version of the application. VERSION 7.0.5

Download WMV 7.0.5:

Open the application and link the program to the WoW/Data files and you should be good to go.

In this program you have a search bar. You can look for everything (maybe you need skulls, or candles, or a bookshelf for props). This is an incredible software full of resources from a huge game. Use this wisely, even if you don't want a Blizzard related thing, or a WoW character you have so many things here that is amazing.

Finished setting up

We have the game (WoW 1.12.1). We have the WoW Model Viewer to see the models, search and extract the WoW files. And finally we prepared the 3DS Max 2009 with the WoW plugin.

If everything is ready now, let's jump and import some models. It's super easy!

3. Importing WoW models

A. Getting the model we want from WoW (WMV)

Let's open first WoWModelViewer (WMV). Creatures works great so lets look for Diablo, the pet. We can use the search bar and type “Diablo”.

Great! this is the one we want. New pet for Torchlight 2. So let's export this model.

Go to File > Export Textures

A small window will pop-up and we click the Export All button and Export All to PNG for the textures.

Go to your WMV folder and open the Export folder. There's where you exported all the files. As you can see in the picture, lots of files and .PNG textures.

DONE! We got the model and textures. Close WMV.

B. Importing the model to 3DS Max 2009

Since we are working for a Torchlight mod. I always like to open the SET_UP.max file shared by RunicGames (in the TL2 TOOLS and ASSETS).

It's a simple file with a human model. I do this to compare proportion and size. Once this file is opened, I delete all the elements and keep only the human body.


  1. Click on the Utilities Icon.
  2. Click on the MAXScript button.
  3. Select the entry WoW M2 Import/Export from the drop down menu.
  4. Click on Run Script and a small windows will appear.

(Yep we did this before to check if we installed the WoW importer plugins properly)

  1. Click the Import button.
  2. Select the .m2 file in the Model Filename field.
  3. Select the .skin file in the Skin Filename field.

We can click Import and get the model in the app. But if you click Path/Settings… you can see that you have SCALE options.

I really recommend to import the model with the proper scale. Do not transform the scale later (you will have problems later when exporting, the model won't have the same quality).

For this model I found that Scale: 5 it's fine. You will be able to change the scale later in GUTS, so if you want the model to be a little bigger or smaller you can do that later. Anyway, do it as good as you can now.

I imported the model with scale 5, I drag and drop the texture from the Export folder of WMV.

Doing this you will have the model, animations and texture together under 3DS Max 2009. You may find some small problems, so I recommend you to watch the tutorial video I made for this:



Thanks for reading!


3ds_max_plugin_importing_world_of_warcraft_3d_models_to_3ds_max.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/04 09:19 by gao