Export AutoCAD to Maya
- 1 Introduction
- 2 AutoCAD
- 3 Maya
- 4 Troubleshooting
- 5 Related pages
It is very useful to import AutoCAD drawings in Maya. The 2D drawing can be used to quickly create a 3D model, either by modeling NURBS from curves or creating Polygons using curves. AutoCAD is specifically aimed at drawing. While Maya is capable of drawing curves, AutoCAD has some advantages over Maya for drawing line drawings.
Make sure the AutoCAD drawing is clean: remove any objects (and layers) you don't need. It might be a good idea to select the objects you need and copy-paste them into a new dwg file.
- Origin: Place your drawing in AutoCAD on or near the origin
- Organize: Remove any line or object you don't need and remove layers you don't need
- Scale: Make sure you're drawing has a suitable scale for Maya (1 unit equals 1 meter)
- Cleanup: Avoid double lines and try to use polylines where possible.
Place in Origin
Make sure you place the drawing in or near the origin in autoCAD. Select the drawing and use the MOVE command to move the drawing to the origin. Either click near the origin or type 0,0 while using the MOVE command. When you're using Dynamic Input, enter #0,0.
Organize the drawing
Remove any unnecessary elements like hatches or lines that are not required for creating the Maya model. Organize all remaining lines into Layers. Layers will also be imported in Maya.
Scale the drawing
Scale the drawing to meters. In Maya choosing meters as units in most likely for architectural purposes. In AutoCAD the choice is likely to be a millimeter as unit. Select the drawing and use the SCALE command to scale the drawing. Preferably use the origin as basepoint for the scale action to make sure the drawing remains placed in the origin. Use a scale factor of 0.001 to convert the drawing from millimeter to meters.
Save the drawing as a *.dwg-file. Choose File > Save as and save the drawing to your hard drive.
Cleanup the drawing
Optional. It's recommended to avoid having double or overlapping lines in your drawing. To cleanup your drawing, you can use the OVERKILL command in AutoCAD to remove double and overlapping lines.
AutoDesk MAP 3D contains the Drawing Cleanup Tool. It can be started using the _mapclean command.
Direct Connect is an application that must be downloaded and installed separately. It's available for free from the Autodesk website and from the Maya for Students website for TU Delft students.The DWG import option for Direct Connect is not supported for Mac OS X at the moment, unfortunately.
If you want to import a DWG file in Maya 7, please refer to the section Import DWG drawings in Maya 7.
Go to File > Import and choose the optionbox.
Select the option to group all imported objects. This makes selecting the whole much easier. Choose DWG_DC as the filetype. Hit the Import button.
Choose the AutoCad drawing to be imported. And hit the Import button. The drawing appears in the viewport.
Because Maya uses the Y-axis as the up-axis and AutoCAD uses the Z-axis, sometimes you need to rotate your drawing:
The curves are now in the XY plane. If you need them to be in the XZ plane, select the group (either using the Outliner or selecting a curve from the drawing and pressing the up-arrow on your keyboard) and rotate it -90 degrees around the X-axis. It might be convenient to place the pivot of the group on the origin first (by moving the pivot, the group or both).
Once i've imported the DGW-file, i don't see anything in my 3D world
Open the Outliner and check whether any curves have been imported (in the group). Select a or a few curves in the Outliner, activate the perspective viewport and press 'F' to focus on the selected object. If you see the curve now, the import was successful.
- The AutoCAD drawing is too far from the origin (in the DWG file). Move the group in Maya. This can be achieved by centering the pivot of the group and using absolute numeric input to move to the origin. Or the DWG file could be edited and redo the import.
- The scale isn't correct (drawing is Maya is far to big). Check your scale settings. You could change the scale of the group to adjust.
- When the autoCAD drawing is very big, for example when importing maps, it's possible that the of the camera(s) need to be adjusted to allow the greater distance between camera and objects.
Import DWG drawings in Maya 7
- File > Import [Option Box]
- Choose File Type DWG_DXF (If it's not in the list, the plug-in isn't loaded)
- Check Group, which groups all imported geometry
- Check Override file units with and choose Centimeters; Maya is configured to centimeters by default. By setting this, Maya will assume centimeters for the CAD drawing as well. Therefore Maya won't apply it's own scale factor to convert between both file units and only the user set scale will be applied. Note that Maya 8.0 and above don't offer this option anymore.
- Choose a scale.
- Choose Import and select the DWG file that contains the data to be imported.
Some example scales:
|1 unit in autoCAD||1 unit in Maya||Scale factor|
|1 millimeter||1 meter||0.001|
|1 millimeter||1 centimeter||0.1|
|1 meter||1 meter||1|
|1 meter||1 millimeter||1000|
When using Maya 7.01, I can't find the dwgtranslator plug-in
In Maya 7.01, the dwgtranslator plug-in is no longer supported. Fortunately an unsupported workaround exists: download the Maya 7.0.1 dwgTranslator from the TOI site -> unzip and follow the instructions in the included .txt file