Exporting for 3ds max into directx

Hello all,

We use Max and DirectX in our app. We use the .X file format in our pipeline now. We want to animate characters in Max and play these animations in a game.

We want to change the DataExchange format. The following solutions seem possible:

-use the FBX file format
This format seems to be designed by Autodesk for file exchange purposes (See http://area.autodesk.com/fbx2011).
Do you have any experiences with it?

-create custom file format
This is pretty timeconsuming and probably not necessary.

-load .max files directly with the maxfilereader from autodesk
As this is not officially supported and the source is not avaiable this does not seem to be a good idea.
Writing our own .max importer is not a good idea because of a lack of documentation for the format.

My first instinct is to go with the FBX format. The Microsoft .X exporter was quite buggy. Is the FBX-exporter better for doing animations?
Which approach do you use for this problem? What are you experiences?



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