I'm a doctor, not a mechanic
This section aims to address common problems experienced with Maya, with particular emphasis on importing from Maya PLE into UnrealEd (mostly in relation to static meshes), written (initially ;-)) from the perspective of a Maya noob. It's almost a FAQ, but the questions probably aren't 'frequently asked', and the answers are (at the moment) pretty much guesswork.
- Where do I find Maya?
- Your UT2003 or UT2004 game disk, in the Extras folder.
NOTE: The version of Maya PLE available from Alias' website does not support the UnrealEd export plugin.
- Where do I get the key I need for installing it? I thought it's free?
- You can register for free at Alias.com.
- Why can't I run Maya?
- Maya only works on Windows NT-based operating systems, such as 2000 and XP. Also, the developers of this software have gone to great lengths to provide FAQs and Tutorials in their support section of their website. They even include a fairly exhaustive database of "Qualified Hardware". I could have included about 6 inline links in that statement. But, its all here in Alias's Maya Support Page.
- Rotating and scaling my scene seems limited.
- If you don't have a 3 button mouse (or one where the scroll-wheel acts as a 3rd button) then, yes, you are missing something. Get one. Sounds like you also need to pay a visit to Alias's Maya Support Page and review their "Qualified Hardware" database.
Importing into UnrealEd
See also Importing Models from Maya.
- When I export objects, the extra attribute Scale that I added to the export set doesn't work – the models are always the same size in UEd no matter what the Scale value.
- There are two versions of the unEditor.mll plug-in. The one dated 10/28/03 erroneously ignores the Scale property. Try the earlier version from the link below if you have this problem.
- I have ActorX in the plug-ins directory, but I can't get it to work with Maya PLE. Why not?
- Maya PLE cannot use most plug-ins, including ActorX. It's a limitation of the license. If you're using Maya PLE v.4.0.1 that shipped with UT2003, you can use the unEditor.mll plug-in for exporting to UEd3.
- When importing a static mesh into UnrealEd, it doesn't look anything like the mesh I designed in Maya and/or parts of the mesh are in the wrong place relative to each other
- It seems that the importer doesn't work properly unless you select all the objects making up the static mesh and then select Modify -> Freeze Transformations first.
Fat Marrow: I also select Edit -> Delete by Type -> History first, but this may not be required.
- Some parts of the mesh don't appear in UnrealEd
- It seems that objects created using the normal Edit -> Duplicate function (created either as copies or instances) don't seem to import into UnrealEd. Using the Edit -> Duplicate with Transform function does seem to work, however (subject to the point above regarding freezing transformations before importing).
- I've added the package, group and scale attributes to the set which I've created, but both the scale and group attributes seem to be ignored
- Fat Marrow: I don't know the solution, but it is worth noting that the package attribute at least seems to be case sensitive (must be lower case).
- I double-click a material I've created, and I've added the URMaterialName attribute to it, but the texture doesn't seem to get set when I import
- You have to add the URMaterialName attribute to the material shading group, which is distinct from the material you created (its default name ends with an 'SG' suffix). One way to select the shading group is to go to the hypershade window, select your material, right-click it and select 'Graph selected' (or something like that), then select the material again in the lower window and click the button in one of the hypershade menu bars which looks like a square with arrows going in and out of it ('show upstream and downstream connections'). You should then see your shading group appear to the RHS of your material. Then double-click this, and then add the URMaterialName attribute.
Fat Marrow: This seems unduly convoluted, but I've found no other/better way to do this.
- I've set up my URMaterialName attributes properly for my shading groups (see above), but when I import my model, parts of it are covered in a blank concrete texture
- You have to manually load all of the referenced texture packs before you import your model. But also check your spelling – is that Abaddon, or Abbadon?
- I've set up my URMaterialName attributes properly and I've now loaded all the necessary texture packs, but my textures still don't import properly
- If you've had a failed import, it's often necessary to delete that static mesh before trying again. This may seem frustrating, but you have to keep the UnrealEd gremlin well-fed.
- When I map 'File' textures to surfaces in Maya, they come out upside down in UnrealEd
- Fat Marrow: I don't really know the solution, other than to do hacky things like flip the textures before you import them into UnrealEd. This may also be a Targa-specific problem; saving textures as (say) .bmp may work better.
- I get strange artifacts when I import meshes into UnrealEd
- It seems that the importer doesn't always work well when converting quad polygons to triangles; you are better off converting your meshes before importing (Polygons -> Triangulate).
Fat Marrow: In other situations, for some reason when extruding faces in certain ways, I get strange artifacts which can't be cured.
- When I type 'unEditor mesh <name>' in the script box, nothing happens – not even an error
- Sometimes the Maya / UnrealEd interface seems to get borked and cause this – restarting both seems to fix it sometimes. At other times, nothing at all seems to fix it – I think this happens when the objects have been mangled in some strange noob-like way. For this reason, I recommend saving multiple versions of the Maya PLE file and regularly doing a test import (if you just make a quick set and don't bother setting any of the necessary attributes, you will create a mesh in the MyPackage package, in the MyPackageN group – where N increases each time you export the same set name).
- When I import an object, there are more materials associated with it than I had expected
- You need to combine all your polygons before importing – Polygons -> Combine (and then make sure that your combined polygon is the only member of your set), or else the importer creates at least one material per object.
Fat Marrow: I still get spurious extra materials appearing sometimes in the static mesh browser
- When I import an object, all the edges get smoothed, even edges that didn't even originally share vertices (but the endpoints were at the same place).
- Is this just a limitation of the unEditor plugin?
Chip: This is a plug-in limitation.
- When I try to load the unEditor.mll plugin shipped with PLE I get the error "The plug-in could not be loaded. The Personal Learning Edition of Maya can only load plug-ins that are built specifically for the Personal Learning Edition..."
- (originally discovered on the Maya/Discuss page) To fix this, hold the windows key hit type F15 (Pause). Click the Advanced tab and then the Environment Variables button. Find the PATH environment variable and hit the Edit button. After "C:\Program Files\AliasWavefront\Maya 4 Personal Learning Edition\bin;" and before any system paths, add the following:"C:\UT2003\System;c:\UT2003;". Quit and re-open Maya and it should not start UnrealEd when you load the plugin.
GRAF!K: Interesting error message for that problem. :-/
- All or part of my model appears inside-out when I import it, and/or I can walk and shoot through it
- This may be because the face normals are wrong or reversed. Select the relevant faces (or the entire model) and select Edit Polygons -> Normals -> Reverse (I don't know what the options do) or try other commands in the Normals submenu (Set Normals to Face [or something like that] seems appropriate).
enDLine.SPA: If you reverse the normals (to make say a cave or inside out structure) make sure to turn on backface culling (Shading->back face culling) and when you import the mesh in ued and get it all set up where you want it make sure to turn off simple collision.
- When I import a model, it looks fine but I can walk and shoot through it
- Sometimes extruding faces (usually many at a time) can cause non-obvious 'bugs' in the model, which look ok but mess up the collision side of things. You can sometimes identify areas of concern by doing a Polygon -> Cleanup (with pretty much all options ticked), and seeing which parts collapse (then undo the cleanup and start reworking those parts of the model). However, in general, it seems best to use face extrusions sparingly (from a noob perspective, anyway) – edge extrusions may generally cause fewer problems, however.
- When I look at my model in Maya, the lighting is strange in places
- This is most commonly caused by non-planar polygons (e.g. you've moved one point of a quadrilateral out of the plane of the other three points), which there is no obviously correct way to light/draw. It's probably best to fix these as they occur by using the Split Polygon tool to split up the polygon in question until only planar polygons remain. The importer will probably do this in any event, but possibly not without bugs. A further source of strange lighting is if you play around with the orientation of the face normals. I think (but I am not sure) that Edit Polygons -> Normals -> Set Normal to Face [or something like that] usually fixes this.
- How do I get cool rendered shadows and lights on my model, like the UT2k3 industrial static meshes have?
- There is an option in Maya to 'bake' shadows and lighting onto models, but it doesn't seem possible in the PLE version without getting a watermark (i.e. give up). As far as I worked out, it seems to involve selecting the object you want to 'bake', shift-selecting the relevant shading group / material, and then selecting a menu option in the hypershade window which is something like 'Convert to File Texture'.
Fat Marrow: Anyone else know any different? I'd love to be able to do this in the PLE version...
- Isn't there a quicker way to set up the sets for exporting with unEditor?
- Yes, by installing performCreateUTSet.mel into your local scripts directory (see help files for details), you can create a shelf button that pops up a window to let you create the set by filling in some fields and clicking a button.
- I use maya6 ple edition, how do i get the things i made with it into unreal editor?
Fat Marrow: This is beginning to need more structure, but I can't think of any obvious subheadings
Ben2500: Are there any downloads for Maya that will make it work on a computer running ME.
Dirk Fist: There is a bug in my video card/driver( and/or UED-3 ?) which prevents UED from running if any other program is using the 3D hardware. For this reason I could'nt export using maya 4, but the new maya 5 exporter (comes with 2k4) can connect to a running copy of UED-3. Just thought I would share this info for people with similarly inadequate video cards ;)
Zugy: Maya 6.0 PLE has been released a bit ago...anyone know more about it? (I'm not really a modeler, I just heard is all)
Graphik: There's nothing in 6 of note to game modders. You can't use the UnrealEd export tool with it anyhow.
enDLine.SPA: There needs to be more about ActorX and stuff for the folks who have a legit copy of maya.
MayaGeek: Here's a link to a good tutorial for ActorX for those of you who has a legit copy of maya. =) http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/ActorXMayaTutorial