[x3d-public] X3D Exporter for Autodesk's Maya Software

Bergstrom, Aaron aaron.bergstrom at email.und.edu
Sun Mar 22 22:27:02 PDT 2015

Hi all,

It's been a while since I have been involved with the X3D community, but I'm jumping back into it as I have a need to produce content.

I will soon be looking for beta testers for a new export tool for Autodesk's Maya software.

For those who don't remember, a long time ago I created an X3D export plugin for Maya software known as RawKee. I know it has become dated, so I've decided to create a new tool from scratch.

As such, I've been working on a new Web Format exporter for Maya on and off for about a year now.

It's written completely in MEL script so there will be no need to compile it. Because it is not compiled, it should work on Windows, Linux, and OSX. I've tested it with Maya 2015 LT and Maya 2009, but I suspect that it could be backward compatible as far back as Maya 6/6.5. Though I doubt anyone is still using a version that far back.

Because it is backward compatible, it should also be compatible with future versions of Maya without having to conform to new releases of the Maya C++ API. Thus, this should minimize the problem of export tools breaking as new versions of Maya are released.

Regardless, sustainability will be easier as compiling tools for multiple versions of Maya on multiple operating systems will not need to be maintained.


1)      Will support custom shader export for those versions of Maya that have ShaderFX built into it.

2)      Will support X3D Classic and X3D XML export

3)      Will also support JSON-based 3D web formats

4)      Initial capabilities will be limited to transforms, geometry, and appearance.

The new export tool will be less complex than RawKee and will have a new name. Other features will be added over time, possibly through a crowdsource funding model.

Obviously, if it is written in MEL, the code will be readable by anyone. As such, I'm not sure how it will be released yet, but it will either be an open source project or it will be available for low-cost. I'm still working out the details with the Univ. of North Dakota tech transfer office.

I'm hoping to have a version available for beta testers by the end of May, with a public release available sometime before Siggraph in August. If you're interested in being a beta tester, drop me a line.

So... SURPRISE! Sort of how I released the RawKee exporter.

Aaron Bergstrom, MS
HPC/Citizen Science Specialist
Computational Research Center, UND
Citizen Science Grid, ND EPSCoR
CRC Web: http://www.crc.und.edu
CSG Web: http://volunteer.cs.und.edu/csg
Email: aaron.bergstrom at email.und.edu
Twitter: @BergstromAaron
Work: 701-777-2075
Cell: 701-238-3467

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