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. October 1st, 2012 at 00:39 | #1

    Thaks man. Please, what is the oficial page of MayaCE3, so i can read full instructions.

  2. Seith
    October 3rd, 2012 at 12:51 | #2

    I’m not sure if you’re joking or not, but… You are on MayaCE3, page. You just have to scroll down a bit until you can read “Installation”.

  3. October 3rd, 2012 at 15:41 | #3

    Was not a joke, thanks to help, was not sure. So i just need to follow instructions.
    Sorry for noob questions, just starting top use Maya… but thats to complicate im goona use 3D Max for a while, and let maya for caracter construction part.

    Thanks Again Seith!

  4. Darnell Williams
    October 4th, 2012 at 00:29 | #4

    Great tool.
    Is there a way to export/import cameras with your toolset.
    I’m getting stuck with the orientation issue using Colloda .dea.
    On docs on maya camera import:
    fix_maya_axis_issue.exe is for correcting it, but the exe can’t be found.
    Any suggestions would be helpful.


  5. Seith
    October 4th, 2012 at 09:30 | #5

    @Darnell Williams
    Thanks. I haven’t tried exporting cameras yet. But when I do, I’ll probably include this fix in the export. Meanwhile, regarding the .exe, you could just post on crydev and ask them to fix the link…

  6. October 13th, 2012 at 15:15 | #6

    hey bud, trying to export some 1st person arms from maya to cry. I am getting a couple of errors though and wonder if you could help.
    Export node cryexportnode_arm_fp_global_msh has no node type

    Mesh Arm_fp_Global_MSH_MSHShape has too many skinning influences. Max is 4
    I did run a script from you to try and fix the 2nd problem but with no efect.

    Any assistance would be much appreciated.

  7. October 14th, 2012 at 21:19 | #7

    managed to fix it, problem was with maya 2011 as it worked with 2012 which is odd. Great exporter though and am really happy to be setting up the character stuff etc in maya and to be out of 3d max again. Dont want to sound like I am bashing max but just prefer maya especially for rigging and animation. Great work and thanks so much for this :)

  8. Supanat
    October 19th, 2012 at 01:33 | #8

    how to open Maya CE3 in Maya

  9. Seith
    October 21st, 2012 at 11:55 | #9

    Err… Well, you should first install it, and then launch it. I mean all the instructions are on this very page.

  10. zahid
    November 3rd, 2012 at 06:15 | #10

    crytek is not going to realese nnew update for cryengine so please realese new version of that plugin so that it support maya 2013


  11. Seith
    November 3rd, 2012 at 09:46 | #11

    Don’t worry Zahid, Crytek IS going to release a new version of the SDK. And the Maya 2013 plugin will be part of the release. I’ll then be able to include it in MayaCE3. To be more specific, when asked about a release date on the 25th of October, Crytek replied “It should not take too long until it gets released“. So let’s keep our fingers crossed!

  12. achiba
    November 6th, 2012 at 00:58 | #12

    how do i get pass the first phase of Mayace3 2.2.3 setup wizard when the ‘next’ button is not clickable in my case?

  13. Seith
    November 6th, 2012 at 09:57 | #13

    You’re probably trying to install it for Maya 2013, which is not yet supported. And I don’t know when it will, as it’s up to Crytek to release the Maya 2013 plugin (which MayaCE3 uses)…

  14. November 22nd, 2012 at 09:29 | #14

    Great work Lionel. Thanks so much for writing these awesome tools. Do you plan on doing a version for Maya 2013? (^_^)

    I can’t wait to play your game. The guys at worked looked at your video and we all wanted to play it just based on your little clip.

  15. Seith
    November 24th, 2012 at 12:21 | #15

    Hi nghia. That’s great to hear! :) And I just published today a new MayaCE3 version with support for Maya 2013. It isn’t thoroughly tested though, so let me know if something breaks…

  16. December 18th, 2012 at 21:04 | #16

    cant install on maya 2013 extension edition. says i dont have compatible Maya version.

  17. Seith
    December 21st, 2012 at 12:49 | #17

    @carlos cervantes
    That’s strange. I tested it on Maya 2013 x64 Service Pack 2 and it does get recognized. Are you sure you tried to install the latest version of MayaCE3?

  18. naz
    December 24th, 2012 at 15:40 | #18

    hi ive installed the exporter, i can import my maya model into cryengine. i can put the model into the scene when i goto Geom Entity, the problem i have is the player walks through the model, do i have to put he model using a brush ?.. if so where do store the model so it can be used as a brush. ? any suggestions please.

  19. Seith
    December 24th, 2012 at 16:28 | #19

    Hi. When you import static models in Sandbox you should indeed use them as Brushes. Geom Entities are different beast altogether. And you can store them wherever you want (as long as they’re in the …/Game/Objects/… folder of course).

  20. naz
    December 24th, 2012 at 19:58 | #20

    hi Seith, thanks alot for that, i got them being imported as brushes now, but the player still walks through the object.. :-( do i have to do something in maya to make them static ? what im doing at the moment is following the exporter instructions then in rollup bar going to the brush finding the model and inserting it into the scene do i have to press any other buttons in the engine to physicalize them or is it automatically done ? thanks

  21. naz
    December 26th, 2012 at 17:00 | #21

    I got the models to be solid now yey, i read in forum something Seith had written, my problem was in the Extra Attributes bit in maya, i i didnt realise a new option appeared when you pressed the extra attributes button on the exporter. :-) new thing to learn now is importing the animation.

  22. pilotchiao
    April 23rd, 2013 at 15:05 | #22

    sandboxlayer doesn’t work ,why I send asset sanboxlayer. all mesh already export

    export sandboxlayer , nothing in the engine. I forget anything?

    It can usefull for cryengine3 sdk? or maybe only use for sandbox3?

  23. Seith
    April 24th, 2013 at 10:43 | #23

    Hi Pilotchiao. I really have no idea what the problem would be. I’m not using the CryEngine anymore, so I’m not even sure MayaCE3 is compatible with the latest version of the CryEngine SDK…

  24. Injihoon
    May 8th, 2013 at 10:20 | #24

    please help me. I met a terrible problem.

    when I excute the mayaCE3 in maya command line : source mayaCE3.mel;
    the result is “Error : can not find file “F:/maya_script/my_script/crysis/cryMeterial_001d.mel” for source statement.

    and when I excute mayaCE3; at maya command line, I can see the mayaCE3 contorll window, but when I use the animation manager, push the create new animation button, happen error : # error : nameError : name ‘mayaCE3’ is not defined.

    so.. I wanna know how to solve this problem?
    please help me!!!

    and I’m using maya 2011 and Crysis x64 official version engine.

  25. Seith
    May 9th, 2013 at 11:23 | #25

    Err… That’s very weird indeed. That error message can only appear on my own machine in theory. What you could try is open mayaCE3.mel and change line 29 to int $forcePublic = 1; and see if it works then.

    But I have to say again that unfortunately MayaCE3 is not supported anymore, since I moved my pipeline to Unity last year.

  26. kit-kat
    July 8th, 2013 at 07:21 | #26

    Why MayaCE3 can not export the metric system, and need to switch to centimeters?

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