The tyAiImporter is a 3ds Max IO module which allows you to import Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files created with any version of Adobe Illustrator up to (and including) the version installed on the machine.

3ds Max is not able to natively open Adobe Illustrator (.ai) files exported from Adobe Illustrator 9.0 and above. If you try to import an .ai file exported from Adobe Illustrator 9.0 and above, you will see an error message stating “Line in file exceeds 255 characters”. The tyAiImporter is able to circumvent this limitation by automatically converting incompatible .ai files to a compatible format using JavaScript which is executed by the version of Adobe Illustrator that is installed on the machine. This process happens seamlessly when you open an .ai file using the tyAiImporter (simply choose “Adobe Illustrator tyAiImporter [v9+]” as the import format in the standard 3ds Max file import dialog box).

You must have Adobe Illustrator installed on the machine to make use of the tyAiImporter. If Adobe Illustrator cannot be found automatically, a popup will appear asking you to locate Illustrator.exe in order to complete the conversion process.

When importing an .ai file using the tyAiImporter, the import process will wait until Adobe Illustrator (if found) has been opened automatically (to convert the file) and then closed automatically (at the end of the conversion script execution). If something interrupts the automatic open-convert-then-close process (for example: a popup message in Adobe Illustrator requires user input), 3ds Max will remain unresponsive until the user intervenes and closes Adobe Illustrator. So, if 3ds Max freezes during the tyAiImporter process, check that Adobe Illustrator has closed (and if it hasn’t, close it manually).

The tyAiImporter does not modify the source .ai files during the conversion process. Instead, the converted data is saved to a temporary file and removed when the import process is completed.

By default, Adobe Illustrator has a security measure in place to prevent unverified JavaScript from executing (a popup notification will alert the user that JavaScript is about to run and ask the user for confirmation to continue). This popup can be disabled by setting “ShowExternalJSXWarning” to “0” in the Adobe Illustrator preferences file (“Adobe Illustrator Prefs” or “AIPrefs”, depending on the version of Adobe Illustrator being used). The tyAiImporter script may also ask you if you would like to disable the popup warning in the future. You should only disable the popup warning if you want to allow JavaScript execution within Adobe Illustrator without any user confirmation requirements. In other words, disabling the popup can make the tyAiImporter file conversion process more seamless, but comes with a security risk (Adobe Illustrator will no longer warn you when JavaScript is about to be executed).