I wanted to point out a few key points about when importing 3D Studio files into blueprint (not the current one, the next release). If you’re expecting blueprint to have everything 3D Studio does in the way of materials then guess again. It’s not totally there, yet.
3D Studio has quite the array of information stored in the files and yes, blueprint has access to it all but it doesn’t process it all. Why? Because blueprint doesn’t have multi-layer textures, bump, specular and diffuse maps and other 3DS type features. At least not yet. It’ll get there but this will take time.
So what do you get? Well, you get all the geometry of the scene of course. Each object in a 3DS file is split up into a separate mesh, then grouped together for ease of access. You can ungroup it if you like, or just act on different parts of the mesh using the scene tree to access them.
As for materials, blueprint will import the basics (ambient, diffuse and specular) settings as well as shininess. It does not import translucency since I’m not quite sure what part of the 3DS file governs that (it’s also linked to a map that blueprint doesn’t import so it’s not just one setting to read). It will also find the primary texture and import it. When I say primary, 3DS files support two texture maps and currently blueprint doesn’t import both of them, only one. Like I said, it will not import special cases like bump or transparancy maps so you’re on your own there.
Sure, this is diminished in it’s capabilities but sorry, can’t have the world. You can however have a good starting point. You certainly have enough to create good looking objects for The Sims and hey, you get what you pay for. If someone wants to cough up $3500 (the cost of a copy of 3D Studio MAX) then give me a few months and you can have all those features. You can however setup whatever material/texture that’s available in blueprint and apply it of course, so this isn’t that bad and the results will be good looking for the average object creator. For those expecting to see an exact copy of what 3DS offers, that’s still a ways off.