Importing Objects From Maya

Unity natively imports Maya files. To get started, simply place your .mb or .ma file in your project's Assets folder. When you switch back into Unity, the scene is imported automatically and will show up in the Project view.

To see your model in Unity, simply drag it from the Project View into the Scene View or Hierarchy View.

Unity currently imports from Maya:

  1. All nodes with position, rotation and scale. Pivot points and Names are also imported.
  2. Meshes with vertex colors, normals and up to 2 UV sets.
  3. Materials with Texture and diffuse color. Multiple materials per mesh.
  4. Animations FK & IK
  5. Bone-based animations
  6. Blend Shapes

If you are using IK to animate characters you have to select the imported .mb file in Project View and choose Bake IK & Simulation in the Import Settings dialog in the Inspector.

Exporting Blend Shapes (morphing) from Maya

  1. Ensure you have the Blendshape applied to the export mesh with it's targets in order
  2. Optionally animate keyframes on the blendshape node, if you require Maya animation keyframes
  3. Check animation > Deformations, Skins if required and Morphs in the FBX export dialogue


In order to import Maya .mb and .ma files, you need to have Maya installed on the machine you are using Unity to import the .mb/.ma file. Maya 8.0 and up is supported.

If you don't have Maya installed on your machine but want to import a Maya file from another machine, you can export to fbx format, which Unity imports natively. Please Install the Latest Version of FBX for best results. To for general export guidelines see HOWTO_exportFBX.
Once exported Place the fbx file in the Unity project folder. Unity will now automatically import the fbx file. Check the FBX import setting in the inspector as mentioned in HOWTO_exportFBX

Behind the import process (Advanced)

When Unity imports a Maya file it will launch Maya in the background. Unity then communicates with Maya to convert the .mb file into a format Unity can read. The first time you import a Maya file in Unity, Maya has to launch in a command line process, this can take around 20 seconds, but subsequent imports will be very quick.


Page last updated: 2013-11-13