MayaCE3: An enhanced exporter from Maya to CryEngine3

January 12th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

This module is unsupported as of December 10th 2012 since I am no longer using the CryEngine. I will leave this page up as is, but MayaCE3 will not be updated anymore and I am unable to provide any support for it!

MayaCE3 is only compatible with the latest version of the CryEngine3 Free SDK. To produce assets for Crysis or Crysis Wars (based on the CryEngine2), please refer to this page.

MayaCE3 is a replacement for the official Crytek exporter; it includes enhanced functionality and a streamlined workflow. It is not advised to run the official scripts and MayaCE3 side by side!

You can find a tutorial about exporting a character on this page, and a simple video tutorial here.

Here are the main differences with the official exporter:

  • Color-coded animation manager.

  • A material exporter UI to choose which material(s) to export (plus some useful  info).

  • Export only the selected cryexport nodes.
  • Export only the selected animations.
  • Enhanced UI with annotations and links to CryEngine3 wiki.
  • Animate at either 24fps or 30fps.
  • Quick-path bookmarks system.
  • Confirmation before overwriting an existing file (material or model).
  • Exported characters are automatically added to the file.
  • The .chrparams files are automatically generated/updated to include all your animations.
  • Easily reorder materials in an existing .mtl file.
  • Save/Load preferences.
  • No need to save the scene in the “…/Game/Objects/…”. Save anywhere you like!
  • A few bug fixes…



MayaCE3 has been tested on Maya 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 (32bit and 64bit for all versions). Earlier versions of Maya are not supported.



Last updated on 9 December 2012: v2.2.5

  • Fixed: Material editor’s shader lists have a height of 1 line on Maya 2013.



1) Install the latest CryEngine 3 Free SDK which you can download here.

2) Install MayaCE3 (click on the download icon above).

3) Make a MEL button in a shell with the following code:

source mayaCE3.mel;

You can use the MayaCE3.bmp icon located in your …/prefs/icons folder.

Important: If you modified your maya.env file after you installed the official Crytek exporter, you will have to rename this file to something else (eg: “maya.env_old”), or remove the lines you added. If you don’t do that then you may run into conflicts between MayaCE3 and the official Crytek exporter.



Quick-Path Bookmark System:

The quick-path bookmark system can be accessed via a menu accessible by right-clicking on “Export Path”.There you can add, remove and tweak all the bookmarks.

Animations Framerate:

Set this option to “Film” if you prefer to work at a 24fps framerate. Otherwise set it to “NTSC” to indicate you work at 30fps. Be aware that this is merely the way to tell MayaCE3 that the values entered in the animations ranges are expressed in the corresponding framerate unit! You will still have to manually set Maya’s framerate.

NOTE: This option does NOT actually change Maya’s framerate. When set to 24fps, it is only an indication for MayaCE3 to convert the animations range information to NTSC values at export time.

Reorder Materials in a MTL File:

This tool lets you open an existing .mtl file and re-order, delete or rename its sub-materials.



1) Save the scene.
2) Select the mesh(es).
3) Click on “Prepare For Export” and name the object.
Set the export path.
5) Click on “Export Selected Objects”.

To export/import Sandbox layers, have a look at this page.



You must have administrative rights to install MayaCE3.

The sample scenes are missing from the first beta releases. They will be added to one of the next releases (not sure when though).





  • Added: Main frames in the UI can now be collapsed (for smaller display sizes).
  • Added: Toggle vertex color now works on every shape within the selection (not just the selection).
  • Added: Check max influences button to automatically enforce a max influence number of 4.
  • Added: Alpha values buttons.
  • Fixed: Meshes from imported layer objects are now complete (in case of multiple-part objects).
  • Fixed: Properly scale the decals normals.
  • Fixed: When updating the .chrparams the order of the existing animations should be respected.
  • Fixed: Comments are now preserved when the .chrparams file is updated.
  • Fixed: Simplify missing asset sphere model for faster framerate in Maya viewport.
  • Fixed: Bug when reordering the animations with middle-mouse in animation editor.
  • Fixed: Garbage entries being added to the file.
  • Fixed: The lines between each animation in the animation editor should be more visible.



  • Fixed “Nothing was exported” message that appeared even when export was successful.
  • Fixed a bug with duplicate name when importing a Sandbox layer.
  • Fixed a bug when adding a new animation for the first time.
  • Now discards shaders with the word “proxy” in their names when importing a Sandbox layer in Maya.
  • Fixed a shader-related bug when importing Sandbox layers in Maya.



  • Fixed “Already existing cryExport node” bug when creating cryExport node by clicking on the “Ok” button.
  • Added check for mesh names being identical to material name when creating a cryexport node.
  • Animation Manager: Added feature to bulk-change all of the animations’ export paths.
  • Now detects if .chrparams file is empty or does not exist and warns the user.
  • When creating the first animation, automatically creates the default directory to mirror the current export path.
  • Fixed animation export bug linked to unrelated cryexportnodes shaders not being in material groups.
  • Added very preliminary bone attachment feature.
  • Material Manager: “Add selected shader” (or from selected geometry) does not deselect the current material group anymore.
  • Material Manager: Move shader up or down does not deselect the current material group anymore.
  • Automatically offers to select the correct cryexportnode when exporting animations with no current selection.
  • Animation Manager: The content is refreshed after opening a new scene.
  • Got rid of annoying warning when creating a new material group.
  • Animation Manager: Added a button to delete all the existing animations in one go.
  • When detecting upper case names for cryexportnodes, constraints or LODs do not raise false positives anymore.
  • Fixed a bug when choosing not to overwrite a file at export time.
  • Fixed a 180deg rotation bug in terrain-block import feature.
  • Made sure the main MayaCE3 window is opened when exporting animations.




  • Fixed a bug when importing vegetation layer when instances lack ‘angle’ attribute.
  • Fixed a bug when importing layers with non-unique mesh names.
  • Fixed a bug when correct shader is not applied to a mesh after importing a layer.


  • Added function to import terrain block (.obj) exported from Sandbox.
  • If the user doesn’t name the new cryexportnode, the first selected mesh name is used.
  • Implemented “Quick Import/Export Last File” function for Sandbox and Vegetation layers.



  • Fixed ‘rootOf’ bug when updating material.
  • Fixed bug when exporting an object with no corresponding material group.
  • Fixed bug when importing sandbox layer with asset mesh name not being unique.



  • Fixed a bug when deleting an animation clip.
  • Launching animation manager just updates the window instead of closing it and re-opening it.
  • Fixed bug when relaunching MayaCE3 with the animation manager open and no animation present in the scene.
  • Added “show vertex alpha” button.
  • Added feature: Export/import Sandbox layers.
  • Added support for vegetation layers.
  • Placeholder spheres are created for missing models.
  • Added support for decals.
  • Place-holder shader for missing materials.
  • When saving preferences for the first time the selection is preserved.
  • Choose a name when creating cryexportnode to get exactly what’s desired.
  • Don’t reload cryExport plugin when launching MayaCE3 if it’s already loaded (faster launch).
  • Added feature: Simplify overall asset creation by adding “Prepare for Export” button.
  • Don’t allow export if <Default> is the export path.
  • The export path is now correctly updated after opening a new scene.
  • Added feature: New function to rebuild automatically the material group with the correct shaders.
  • Material file is automatically exported if it does not already exist.
  • Default gray texture is put in the diffuse map slot if there is nothing there (no more “Replace Me” texture!).
  • Shaders are now cryexportnode-dependent: they don’t get removed from existing material groups.



  • Fixed a bug when the user changed his mind and chose NOT to export a selected cryexport node.
  • Made sure a cryexport node is selected before the user exports animations.
  • The animation manager is not closed anymore when relaunching mayaCE3 (just refreshed).
  • Fixed a bug in Add Attributes proc linked to plugin not being loaded.
  • Added a check that the Crytek plugin is loaded at launch time.



  • Better handling of unsuccessful exports.
  • Added feature: Export only the selected cryexport nodes (instead of default all).
  • Added feature: Export only the selected animations from the Animation Manager.
  • Added a check box to quickly toggle on/off all the animations for export in the Animation Manager.
  • Buttons have replaced the names of animations in the Animation Manager for quick time-range set.
  • The animations scroll layout in the Animation Manager can now be entirely re-sized as desired.
  • No .chrparams should be exported for invalid nodes anymore.



  • Fixed a bug when adding the first animation clip.
  • Fixed a bug when calling Animation Manager with no animations.
  • Added a color-coded animation manager.
  • Fixed compression too strong in .cba file that could induce jittery animations.
  • Removed the animation scroll widget from the main UI.
  • Added warning if the .cba file is not found.
  • Added a button to quickly create a cryExport node.
  • Fixed a warning “Item not found” when moving a shader down.
  • A newly created material group is selected after its creation.
  • Fixed a bug when the .cba file could not be found.
  • Can now handle cases when no animations are found when exporting animations.
  • Absolute paths now work (user can save scene outside of CryEngine directory).
  • Fixed an erroneous failure report after successful export.

Beta 0.2a

– Added new UI to batch-export .MTL files.

– Automatic fill-out the export path when adding an animation.

– Animation list frame is taller.

– Fixed a bug in .chrparams update proc when .chrparams file doesn’t exist yet.

– Added a warning if a material file could not be exported.

– Material export won’t be attempted if no material’s selected.


Beta 0.1d

– Fixed false success report after an export attempt gone wrong.

– Added a “Validate Model” button to the UI.

– The master/slave skeleton procs have changed (need a slave joint attribute).

– Animation names are automatically converted to lower-case (cryEngine limitation).

– Fixed a bug in .cba update path when exporting a character anywhere else but the root directory.

– Animations are now inserted non-destructively in an existing .chrparams file.

Beta 0.1c

– Fixed some dependencies.

– Added check and confirmation before exporting over an existing file.

– Added numbers to materials in the Materials Groups window.

– Fixed a bug that deselected the selected shaders in the Materials Group window.

– Made main window resizeable only for Maya 2009.

Beta 0.1b

– Made the main window resizeable.

– Removed references to cryExport.mel.

  1. luk@s Arts
    March 9th, 2012 at 14:06 | #1

    thank you for this great tool. It is realy helpfull when exporting animations.
    But i have one question.

    I have downloaded the latest version from your tool (MayaCE3-1.1.2.exe) but it seems like i have not the newest features of the animation manager. i have no checkboxes where i can select which animation to export, i have to export all of them every time.

    I dont know what i am doing wrong^^

  2. Seith
    March 9th, 2012 at 14:20 | #2

    Mmh… Strange indeed. I just double-checked the files. Are you sure the version number at the top of MayaCE3’s window says “1.1.2”?

  3. Le Hoang
    March 22nd, 2012 at 23:44 | #3


    Maya 2012×64

    the tool is great but with the newest one I cant add attributes, it just wont add the node options so it keeps saying no node to export even if I use Create Cryexport Node. So I had to switch back to 0.2a version.


  4. Seith
    March 23rd, 2012 at 01:27 | #4

    I’ve just uploaded a new version (1.1.4) that should take care of this problem. Let me know if it doesn’t…

  5. Seith
    March 23rd, 2012 at 01:29 | #5

    @luk@s Arts
    Whoops, that was my bad. The latest version (1.1.4) should include all the missing features…

  6. BigErn
    March 27th, 2012 at 13:57 | #6

    Hey Seith, I was checking if you were updating this for a while, then came to need it yesterday to find your updates, and they are excellent! 😀 Glad you implemented some of the ideas we discussed for creating nodes and exporting just selected items etc! Great work!

  7. Seith
    March 28th, 2012 at 16:53 | #7

    Hey, Mr Clayton! You’re welcome. Just let me know if you see anything funky with the new version…

  8. Benito
    April 18th, 2012 at 13:48 | #8

    Anything solid I export into the editor acts like a physics entity. As soon as the player touches it, it becomes affected by gravity and can be pushed. This goes for anything solid with or without a proxy.

    Using Maya 2012.

  9. Seith
    April 18th, 2012 at 16:25 | #9

    That’s a neat trick! I can’t see how this would happen though. Do you import your objects in Sandbox as Brushes?

  10. Benito
    April 18th, 2012 at 20:50 | #10

    Found the issue. (objectname)_group is given an extra attribute for mass. It’s set to 10 by default. Changing it to zero fixes this.

  11. BigErn
    May 15th, 2012 at 12:19 | #11

    Hey Seith, I saw your Alpha version you posted on the CryDev, making your levels in Maya 😉 I would be VERY interested in testing it, if you are at the stage where people can test it?

    Did you also fix the issue above regarding the rogue ‘Mass’ Attr which appeared in the recent version. I got very frustrated with all my objects flying away when I stood on them.

    Keep up the excellent work!

  12. Darshana
    May 23rd, 2012 at 01:35 | #12

    thank’s for this great tool.

  13. Seith
    May 30th, 2012 at 10:59 | #13

    I’ll post this here so that everyone can benefit from it: When you import your static models in Maya you should always use the “Brush” button, NOT the “Geom Entity” one (unless you want to be able to push your model around).

  14. Sean
    May 30th, 2012 at 14:09 | #14

    Hi Seith,

    For some reason it’s giving me:

    Could not locate file Animations/ !
    Animations will not be available in the Character Editor!

    I’ve followed the steps exactly. Is this an issue with SDK 3.4??

  15. May 31st, 2012 at 00:15 | #15

    Hi Seith. Quick and possibly stupid question :

    It appears MayaCE3 doesn’t export a .cgf file anymore. I’m attempting to create a cloth entity and use my own model, but CE3 wants a .cgf file. How can I get MayaCE3 to spit out a .cgf file?

  16. Anonymous
    June 11th, 2012 at 16:20 | #16

    Got error: NO material groups found in scene. Version 2.1.5

    source cryValidate.mel; cryValidate;
    source cryValidate.mel; cryValidate;
    # Error: IOError: 22 #

  17. yursiv
    June 11th, 2012 at 16:21 | #17

    Got error: NO material groups found in scene. Version 2.1.5

    source cryValidate.mel; cryValidate;
    source cryValidate.mel; cryValidate;
    # Error: IOError: 22 #

  18. Seith
    June 11th, 2012 at 16:35 | #18

    @yursiv That bug should be fixed in version 2.1.6. But I hope you hit undo when you got that error! If not, you might have to click on “Update Material”.

  19. wat2k
    June 11th, 2012 at 19:13 | #19

    Thanks for this great tool.
    Anyway, I don’t know how to export .cga.
    Do you have any tutorial?

  20. Seith
    June 11th, 2012 at 19:21 | #20

    You’re welcome. Nope, I’ve never had the use for it yet…

  21. wat2k
    June 11th, 2012 at 19:34 | #21

    so what is the animation name that been export? Is it name default?

  22. Seith
    June 11th, 2012 at 19:39 | #22

    I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you’re talking about…

  23. yursiv
    June 11th, 2012 at 20:34 | #23

    “Update Material” button just creates another one material group for exportnode(i have one already in scene, all setup correctly).

    But that message doesnt matter because it exports just fine!)))
    Thanks for support.

  24. Seith
    June 11th, 2012 at 20:38 | #24

    Mmh… The important thing to remember is that the Material group name must always be the same name as the cryexportnode (without the “cryexportnode_” part).

  25. yursiv
    June 11th, 2012 at 20:53 | #25

    Thanks, i dont now that, but it is very strange in my ipinion; because in crydocs i suggested to reuse materials for different assent (for geom instansing i think)

  26. kennez
    June 11th, 2012 at 23:59 | #26


    Loving MayaCE3 so far, but I’m having some problems with the Animation Manager and exporting animations. I create an animation, and set it up in the animation manager. The save location for the animation is a mirror of the object location (/Objects/Characters/Marlow and /Animations/Characters/Marlow), but when I try to export the animation (in this case it is called test), I get a message saying:

    Could not locate file ../../../Animations/Characters/MarlowAnimations/ ! Animations will not be available in the Character Editor!

    First, I’ve noticed that this is NOT the directory that I have specified for export – it is called Marlow, not MarlowAnimations. Also, does MayaCE3 create the file, or do I need to copy it?

    Can you please give me some suggestions on this? I’ve followed the tutorial on your site, but I get stuck at this point, and cannot get into Sandbox. It took me ages to get my character model into CE3, now it’s taking me ages to figure out the animations as well!

  27. Seith
    June 12th, 2012 at 14:23 | #27

    (I’ve replied to your post on the crydev forums)

  28. Seith
    June 12th, 2012 at 14:28 | #28

    You should make sure that you copy the official file in the …/Game/Animations folder. MayaCE3 needs to modify the file to add your characters/animations…

  29. Seith
    June 12th, 2012 at 14:29 | #29

    That IS strange. I haven’t heard anything like that before. Please try and install the latest version and see if the problem persists.

  30. Seith
    June 12th, 2012 at 14:57 | #30

    You’re right. However material files don’t add much of an overhead, as long as the texture maps themselves are same.

  31. Keytay
    June 23rd, 2012 at 06:30 | #31

    Hi Seith,
    A little problem I can’t seem to figure out. When I click ‘update materials’ to add a new material to the group it creates a new group with a different name and makes copies of all the other materials (which have different names now from the originals) When I try to export the error is mesh has materials from multiple groups. Understandably because my new mat is in a different group. Is it meant to just add the new material to my already working group? Or am I doing it wrong?

  32. un certain type
    July 1st, 2012 at 21:50 | #32

    hi Seith, ahd thanks one more time,
    but I have the same problems that I Kennez is yet followed the instructions to the letter!
    Have you any idea?

    -Maya 2012
    CryENGINE SDK v3.4.0.3696-

  33. Kryzys
    July 21st, 2012 at 13:49 | #33

    Hi Seith,

    Ok I join discussion. I have also same problem. Something wrong happen in export path.
    Script got deafault path to export object and he is inserted in weird way. I have path , something like that in warning window :

    In this path is something wrong. Like Keytay said. In my example is missing slash after *temp. Also script got path from export’s path not from animation’s path.

    I’m trying on hundreds ways.
    I copied where warning sign directs me.

    Maybe good solution will setup path directly to the – But i don’t see
    a ways.

    Almost indentical setup like above.

    Maya 2012
    Cry and Crysis mod.

  34. Arfi
    July 22nd, 2012 at 03:43 | #34

    Hey i can’t install maya it’s said “No valid maya detected” i running it as an administrator

  35. Kryzys
    July 22nd, 2012 at 10:45 | #35

    Ok. I know why this is happend. I skiped very important steps. Save preferences and I had a space in name of game directory. I leave this message here. Maybe somebody will have same problems in future.

    And sorry I’m not native speaker.

  36. Aceman
    July 25th, 2012 at 23:47 | #36

    Hey Sieth,
    I love your exporter but I am having a problem with it. Whenever I export the export dialogue doesn’t show any errors from the RC but a little window pops up informing me the items were not exported.

    Here is a link:

  37. Aceman
    July 25th, 2012 at 23:50 | #37

    Its fixed, nvmd.
    I wasn’t exporting to the correct directory and it wasn’t able to find the .mtl file.

  38. August 28th, 2012 at 18:01 | #38

    nice too but currently not supported by maya 2013 , so i request from its developer team that please lunch an update of this tool for maya 2013


  39. Seith
    August 28th, 2012 at 19:11 | #39

    It should happen within a couple of weeks, when Crytek releases the next SDK version.

  40. Peter
    September 12th, 2012 at 06:38 | #40


    Thanks for the software but I am actually having a problem installing it. I am logged in as administrator and everything and I am trying to install the latest version. When I start the .exe all of the boxes stay grayed out and I can’t continue. I have never had such a problem with anything.


  41. Seith
    September 12th, 2012 at 07:43 | #41

    Hello Peter. Strange indeed. Normally this should only happen if you try to install MayaCE3 while having no valid Maya version installed on your system (meaning anything below 2009 or anything above 2012 -2013 is not supported yet).

  42. Peter
    September 12th, 2012 at 22:07 | #42

    Ok, thank you very much. I have Maya 2013, that’s why it’s not installing. I’ll just install 2012. Thanks again.@Seith

  43. curtis
    September 18th, 2012 at 19:25 | #43

    hey i need some help, when ever i try to import the level into maya i only get a bunch of spheres. how can i fix this?

  44. Seith
    September 18th, 2012 at 20:54 | #44

    Hi Curtis. Usually that means the original assets (the cryexportnodes for the level objects) are not in the current Maya scene. And they have to be for this to work…

  45. curtis
    September 19th, 2012 at 18:10 | #45

    so there for i need to do it in reverse and build my level in maya then send it to cryengine?

  46. Seith
    September 20th, 2012 at 09:30 | #46

    Yes, once you have your source models in Maya (the cryexportnodes) you can send a level to Sandbox and sync it back to Maya.

  47. curtis
    September 20th, 2012 at 14:28 | #47

    could u make a video for us that goes a little more in detail with this tool? Maybe a short start to finish project with a few small objects. I am sure the everyone will love that

  48. james
    September 22nd, 2012 at 01:21 | #48

    please release a 2013 version i will give you kudos

  49. September 30th, 2012 at 04:12 | #49

    Thanks for the tool.

    I need ask how do this part “Make a MEL button in a shell with the following code”

    I had instaled oficial version of maya Export from crydev… what i need to do to use MayaCE3?

  50. Seith
    September 30th, 2012 at 08:14 | #50

    You’re welcome! Please read the installation instructions on the MayaCE3’s page (you’ll see they mention the official exporter from Crytek and what you have to do about it). As to how to make a MEL button in Maya, did you try searching for “how to make a MEL button in Maya” in Google…? 😉

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