This is a known problem in 3ds Max 2009 - Autodesk forgot to include a Microsoft Common Control in their installer.
1.) End 3ds Max from the Task Manager.
2.) Download the MSCOMCTL file from the Account Management System download page, and extract the mscomctl.ocx file into the proper Windows OS folder:
32 bit users copy to:
64 bit users copy to:
3.) Once the file is copied, Run as administrator an DOS command window via typing cmd in Start menu text field (run/search)
Note: You can also find the command prompt in C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe (right click, Run as administrator)
4.) Type the following command based on your OS:
32 bit users type:
cd \windows\system32 C:\Windows\system32>regsvr32 mscomctl.ocx
64 bit users type:
cd \windows\syswow64 C:\Windows\SysWOW64>regsvr32 mscomctl.ocx
5.) Run 3ds Max and the FaceGenTools button should work.
Before exporting, is it necessary to rotate the mean mesh or the part meshes?
As long as your Mesh has the correct orientation relative to the rest of the character it should fine.
Do the mean and extreme meshes have to be OBJ file format?
Facegen will only run on OBJ files. Your extreme meshes can be exported directly out of max as OBJ's or you can export them with the HeroEngine export tools and convert them to OBJ. The First way has fewer steps, but the resulting OBJ's are strictly for the control set up of extreme meshes.
The parts that you export for integration need to be exported as via the the HeroEngine export tools then converted to OBJ since they will be used in the engine.
For the integration step, is it necessary to setup an "animated morph" for the parts?
You do not need to set up any animated morphs. The only reason you would want to do this is simply as an aesthetic preview to see how the shapes work together in MAX
What should be done when the mesh is not scaling properly, morphing improperly, or causing side movements?
This could be the cause of different possible problems:
Frequently incorrect scale that will manifest as body parts appearing in the wrong place in relation to the animation skeleton (sometimes even far off in the distance)
If this is occurring when you export directly to OBJ format from Max, try exporting via the HeroEngine export tools (as a static asset), then converting to OBJ. Though that adds an extra step to the process, it seems to eliminate any scale issues that come into play on export.
The program GR2toOBJ.exe converter available on the Account Management System download page may be useful here. With it, you can simply drag and drop files onto it and it will create an OBJ file for you in the same folder.
Before trying this, though, you will need to confirm that 'Tangent Merging Tolerance' is set to 180 in your static asset export settings. Otherwise, you may get small differences in your exports (namely vertex count) that facegen is sensitive to.
Possibility of topology differences between the meshes that are being used to set up a control
Usually this problem will result in no morphing occurring at all, or it will cause geometry to morph incorrectly, collapsing in on itself or appearing to turn inside-out.
Turning up the Tangent Merging Tolerance should eliminate this problem for you. Things like UV seam differences between meshes have been known to cause unexpected vertex count differences in resulting files, even though Max may indicate vertex count is the same for the original meshes.
The trickiest topology difference to deal with is vertex order. To avoid this problem, it's a good idea to build your base 'mean' mesh first, then simply adjust the shape of the mean mesh to construct your extreme meshes.
If occurring incorrectly, this can cause the geometry morph to appear incorrect. This doesn't apply, of course, if you're not using skeletal morphing in this case. If you are, make sure when editing your base skeleton in Max to create the other skeletal morphs, you are either in Bone Edit mode (in Bone Tools), or in Figure Mode if you're using a Biped rig. Otherwise, your exported skeleton may stretch and rotate in peculiar ways in the engine when morphing between targets.