Maya Blitz3D Exporter v2

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Maya Blitz3D Exporter v2

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#1]
Hi Everybody.

Here is my gift to the blitz community.
My new version of he maya blitz3d exporter.

Now with animation support.

I had so many headhaches , but finally at last ! ;-)

I provided within the zip file, an example of my own creation.
(b3d file and maya 8.5 file)

Check My blog for the download link.

Click here

Spread the word.
As usual, I would like as many people to try it, and give me feedback, so i can make improvements, and maybe add new functionnalities.

For the moment, I'm gonna make a pause in the developement of this plugin, except for bug corrections.

jhocking(Posted 2009) [#2]
Cool, great work! Does this plugin only work with Maya 8.5, or will it work with newer versions?

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#3]
Hi, joe, this version is for 8.5 only.

for the 7th version I've a big bug on textures export (big maya crash lol ).

and for the 2008 I've got a weird behavior on some computers.
I will put it online if you really want, but I cannot assume that it will work on your computer(animation export problem).
But it can be working good on other computers.

So just tell me if there's need for the 2008 version.

jhocking(Posted 2009) [#4]
Well no immediate need, just it'll be great to have the exporter with animation for 2008. I hope you get the bugs sorted out!

mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#5]
how exactly should I rig my models? do they have to be a single mesh or can it be separate parts parented to the bones? can I name my bones? thank you very much for this, I have so many uses for this!!

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#6]
Hi MtnHome3d.

You should at first open the sample maya file, to see the stuff, the settings, and play around with it.

to rig for the moment only one mesh and a skeleton are supported.

but object hierarchy is supported.

I forgot one thing,
to export choose something in your scene and do export selection,
in fact it exports everything that can be exported, lol.
I'll do an update later. :-p

In the maya file I used an FBIK STRUcture with my joints.
i animated with it, but to have keys on joints I applied a bake simulation function before.

let's keep in touch.
See you

mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#7]
i run into a problem when i try to export. i have a scene i got from a book, and I wanted to test it. i loaded it and hit export. Maya then exits and gives me the option to send an error report to Autodesk. I can send you the file to test but it basicly is a mesh with a skeleton and key frames on the mesh. any ideas?. also what boxes did you mark on when exporting the sample scene?the scene file has them as blank.

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#8]
you can send me your file in a zip file at this adress:


LordShion(Posted 2009) [#9]
Hi MtnHome3d,
I didn't received your mail.
Maybe I missed something, because I'm receiving so many junk mails.
If you already sent it, could you resend it to me with the subject : "pour filipe".


mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#10]
Hi Filipe,
i just got around to sending it last night, try checking again. if its not there i can send it again. its under the topic of "maya-b3d exporter"

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#11]
Sorry, I think it has been treated by my mail program as a spam.
If you can put a zip online somewhere, I'll be able to get it.
See you

mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#12]
i uploaded it to my site, its the link thats titled blob on this page its in big bold letters

mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#13]
Did you get the file??

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#14]
Hi mtnhome3d, I've downloaded your file, and tried it on the maya exporter, and it didn't crash.
But, there are some weird behaviors on the transforms data of joints that don't export well.
I'll try to give it an eye next week, caus for now I'm a little busy.

ps: your model is cool.


mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#15]
thanks for trying, its a model i got from a book and was the most final thing i had to show at the moment with animation. i'm not sure how it was animated, that is the stock it came with. i'm re-animating it myself.

mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#16]
hey i was playing around with a 3d rectangle with some bones bound to it, and only the first bone's animation was saved. any ideas? i had export hierarchies and animation checked. i will try an ik setup to see if that works.

[edit] the ik setup didn't do anything. could you please post you pipeline from animation to export so i can see if i'm missing something, i remember you said something about baking the animations or something

[edit#2] i got the bake simulation to work, mostly. it seams to want to mess up a certain bone, im not sure why this one bone but it does.

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#17]
that's interesting.

can you make the file available, to me please?
the more messed files I have, the more I can debug better the exporter.

for the moment, the option export hierarchy, is not linked to any code :-p
so leave it off for now.

for the moment, the plugin exports all with the hierarchy (even if you only selected one object)
the hierarchy option will be for the case when you export some objects in the same hierarchy, it will retrieve the hierarchy, with the objects selected, and with pivots for the unselected objects.

For the FBIK system on Maya I really encourage you to not to use it unless you really know working with it.
I recentely worked with it, and had all My animation FU***D UP, because it was insanely rescaling some joints.
try on google this string : maya FBIK bug
and search some tutorials.

Use simple Ik system instead.
Here is a reallly good tutorial:
rigging tutorial

in the same website, there are also many cool tutorials.

To bake keys, you must select the bones you want keys to be generated.
I select them in the hypergraph panel with a simple mouse rectangle drag over my bones hierarchy (be sure to select just bones).

Before exporting, check your bone, to see if they have keys (animCurves) on the translate, rotate & scale channels.

Check the end of this document for more information about bake simulation
bake simulation documentation

hope this can help also

Jon_E_5(Posted 2009) [#18]
Hi there. This is exciting. I've been waiting for a Maya exporter for ages!! I currently have access to Maya 8.5 and 2009. Hopefully you'll get a 2009 version up soon. ;)
My question is. Does this exporter export simple keyframed transform animation, without any bones or skeletons? Does it export simple keyframed vertex animation?
I'm not an animator so rigging and bones etc are not something I know anything about. :)

Thanks, this all super cool news though. Hope you can answer my quesitons.


mtnhome3d(Posted 2009) [#19]
hi john, it supports bones only i think. also animation isn't that hard, i would suggest you look at the help files in maya and practice on a subdivided cube with bones bound to it. if you want, i can show you how.

@lordshion, i can upload the .b3d file and the .mb file in a few hours, i have a research paper due tonight.

LordShion(Posted 2009) [#20]
Hi John.

It seems, that the b3d file format does not support simple transforms animation.

But maybe I missed something on the b3d file format.

I think that it's not possible.

what you can do is mesh combine all your objects, make a skeleton, do a smooth bind, & paints weights.

You can also do one solo joint(no joint parenting) for each object(with hierarchy), and smooth bind each object of them, but I'm not sure, of the result you can get.

See you
Don't hesitate to give me feedback.
See you soon

jhocking(Posted 2009) [#21]
Hi, so is the exporter for 8.5 the newest version? Currently the best pipeline I know of from Maya to b3d is export to Collada and then convert using Ultimate Unwrap. I'd love to have a way of exporting straight from Maya 2008 (what I'm using) to b3d.

ADDITION: hm I wonder if using Blender for the conversion would work? That is, export Collada from Maya, import that into Blender and export to b3d. The advantage there is that'd work on my Mac, whereas Ultimate Unwrap is Windows only.

fox95871(Posted 2009) [#22]
Hi, could you please put up some better instructions on how to use this? The animations never export for me, and I've tried everything. 3ds, md2, and especially x exporters are impossible to find for Maya, so this is really the only hope. That is if you want to do your animations in Maya itself, which I definitely do. Please help. I can send you my files as mentioned in a previous post, or whatever else. Thanks.

jhocking(Posted 2009) [#23]
Here's a DirectX exporter for Maya:

Thing is, Blitz doesn't support skeletal animation in .x files so that's still not too helpful for getting animations from Maya to Blitz.

LordShion(Posted 2010) [#24]
hi folks.

Sorry for my very very late return.

I'm actually returning on the developpement of my plugin.

this is a message to mtnhome3d

I've been looking a little deeper in your model (skull blob)
and one thing I've noticed is that the mesh as some scaling.

I've changed the scale of your mesh to 1 and reassigned it to the bones, wich is more normal & logical.
Now under fragmotion I can see correctly your skeleton.
But steal can't export your animation.
I'll still investigating this week-end I think.

jhocking(Posted 2010) [#25]
Hey cool! When you say you're returning to development of your plugin, are you updating it for newer versions of Maya?

Danny(Posted 2010) [#26]
I only discovered this now, but indeed, if you have a plugin that would export models easily and correctly from Maya that would be fantastic!!!
I only need it for static models. Thanks in advance!

[edit] BTW, the zip-file from your blog for the 8.5 version doesn't seem to work?!


LordShion(Posted 2010) [#27]
Hi Danny

The link doesn't works because the server went down.

I'm actually trying to find another server for my files.
I'll update this link this week-end.

See you.

jhocking(Posted 2010) [#28]
I've started putting public downloads on

LordShion(Posted 2010) [#29]
Hi danny.

I managed to get my personal pages working on my internet provider.

I've also updated my article on the blog, so anyone can get the file.

anyway here is the direct link

Danny(Posted 2010) [#30]
Thanks, gonna check it out immediately!


LordShion(Posted 2010) [#31]
hello guys.

After some investigation, i've changed some code.
this new version seems to have some improvements.

Here is the direct link for the maya 2008 version.

don't forget to give me some feedback.

I don't remenber but i think you can use layered textures

see you

ps: Don't forget to read the text file please, before using
ps2: if you want the plugin compiled for your maya version, you can contact me to see how we can handle this.

jhocking(Posted 2010) [#32]
oh man I am definitely going to test this tonight. If this works it's just in time for work I'm doing. I use Maya 2008, and I literally just modeled a couple characters that I need to animate -

LordShion(Posted 2010) [#33]
hi , you can send me the maya files if you have problems, so i can investigate.

Thanks to mtnhome3d who sent me a problematic maya file, I managed to improve a little further, the plugin.

don't forget to check the readme file, & the texture tutorial up on this page

jhocking(Posted 2010) [#34]
oh shoot I was just looking at the files to test them, when it dawned on me that you probably built it for Windows. I use a Mac, this wouldn't work on Mac.

LordShion(Posted 2010) [#35]

I can manage to do a mac version, but I don't know How much time it can take.
anyway, if you have parallel desktop, you may be able to run a windows version of maya, just for export purposes, can't you?

jhocking(Posted 2010) [#36]
oh wait I have better than that, I have a Windows desktop I can test it on. I just barely ever turn that computer on (it's pretty old) and do the majority of my work on my laptop.

Do you need anything from me to compile a Mac version? For example, do you need the Maya devkit from my install?

LordShion(Posted 2010) [#37]
I think it should be okay.
tell me about your tests.
I'll try to compile it this week-end on my mini-mac
see you


jhocking(Posted 2010) [#38]
Tested it briefly on my Windows machine. The mesh and skeleton exported great, but neither the UV coordinates nor animation carried over. Mind you I haven't played with it much yet so I probably just wasn't hitting the right options or something, but that's the result of my first 15 minutes of testing your plugin.

EDIT: I'm still not getting any animation, but the detach components thing fixed the UV coordinates. Is there any chance you can automate that part? I think in Maya it uses VertexFace components to handle multiple UVs per vertex. So like if all the VertexFaces have the same UV coordinate then it's exported as one vertex, but VertexFaces with different UV coordinates are exported as separate vertices.

I'm gonna play a bit more to see if I can get animation working, and then maybe email you the file. It's not complicated, I just made a test of a cylinder with two bones that bend in the middle.

LordShion(Posted 2010) [#39]
Hi Joe.

I managed to get my mini mac compile a simple node plu-gin on xcode for maya 2008.
so I think I'll do some test on compiling my plugin for mac very soon.

I get the start and the end of animation from timeline.*

see you soon

jhocking(Posted 2010) [#40]
I hope compiling this plugin for Mac works, that would be amazingly useful to me.

Posting one bit of your email here since this is important for other people to know:

One important rule in animation for this plugin, is that every keyframe , must have the three channels (Translate, Rotate, Scaleng) keyed.
Your file just as the rotate channel keyed.

ah I need to set keyframes on every channel, not just the one moving. That's good to know! What I'll probably do is keep animating the way I do and just bake all the keyframes right before export.

ADDITION: woo after I baked keyframes it worked. A skeletal animated b3d file exported from Maya, awesome!

For reference, it's in the Edit menu under Keys>Bake Simulation. You might consider making that automatic; that is, the exporter bakes out the animation before export.

ADDITION2: The b3d file loads differently in different places. That of course means the different loaders may not be reading the file correctly, but it's something you should know. I haven't yet loaded the file in Blitz3D to test it, but I have loaded it in Ultimate Unwrap and in my b3d viewer (you can download it in the Misc section of the toolbox; I wrote it using Minib3d.)

In Ultimate Unwrap the animation comes through but the texture isn't applied to the material for some reason, while in Minib3d the texture is there but the animation isn't. If I then save the file from Ultimate Unwrap (that is, open the b3d file and then export to a new file) it looks fine in both places.