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I use several web 3d programs not only director but exporting from max to shockwave is the easiest one by far. I dont know about max 9 or max 10, thats about to come out but 7 & 8 work fine. max also seems better at exporting rigs that are not the default biped type
it's been a couple of years since I exported bones and animations;
I use LightWave;
animations exported fine;
but I recall that bones, heirarchy or nomenclature or something - it's been a long time ago - were effected during export; and getting support/documentation on the issue was difficult, to the point where after about a week I concluded that LW 'rigs' were not feasible;
however there are plenty of folks who have made it work with LW;
In my experience, LightWave is the easiest application to export animated (bones) models to W3D.
petterms, unfortunately I cannot remember specifically what problems that I ran into;
I would have been using LW 7.5;
it seems like it had something to do with either the heirarchy structure or the nomenclature of the bones;
Maya is the best having used the 3ds one and the Max. The motions though are on the root bone as they should be. In fact you can use clips in the trax editor and it will still export the combined animation. The exporter has a reputation of exporting a bunch of crap that bloats the file but this can be avoided by using the "Fastest Export" option which will not include the locators and group nodes in the w3d. In fact it is a best practice to have a separate w3d for your motions and models so it is clear what is noise and what is not.
you should read this:
I might be able to dig up the maya cleaner script if you PM me