Export Sketchup to Maya

From TOI-Pedia


There are several methods to export 3D models from Sketchup to Maya. There are two main file types that you can use:

  • FBX
  • OBJ

creates triangulated polygon meshes; Material properties from Sketchup are preserved.
creates triangulated polygon meshes; Usually objects are 'fused' together into a single or a few objects. Material properties from Sketchup are preserved.

In order to export your 3D model from Sketchup, you need to use Sketchup Pro. A free trial-version, with eight hours of unlimited use, is available. When you only use it to export models and then close the application, you should be able to use it many times.


If your aim is to export your model to Maya for visualization purposes, use FBX.

General preparations

The most important step when exporting your model from Sketchup to Maya is the preparation. It is paramount to optimize your model:

  • Only export the part of the model you need
  • Keep the level of detail as low as possible

Export as FBX polygon mesh

  1. Check the units of your model: Window » Model Info, Units section.
  2. Go to File » Export » 3D Model...
  3. Choose a path and a file name to store the FBX file. Click Export.

Importing FBX in Maya

First you have to make sure the FBX plugin is loaded:

  1. Window » Settings/Preferences » Plug-in Manager
  2. Locate Fbxmaya in the list and check both Loaded and Auto load.
  3. Click Close.

Then you can proceed to import your model:

  1. Open a new scene
  2. File » Import...
  3. Browse to the location where you saved the FBX file. Select the file.
  4. Click Import

You're model will not be scaled automatically. IF you've modeled in meters in Sketchup, this will not be a problem, but when you've modeled in millimeters, your model will be huge.

  1. In Maya, open the Outliner (Window » Outliner)
  2. Select the imported geometry
  3. In the Channelbox enter 0.001 for Scale X, Y and Z to convert from mm to m.
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