• F.A.Q: PolyTrans-for-Maya Usage Questions

    This group provides common answers to questions about Okino's PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in system. This native plug-in system for Maya allows all of the PolyTrans 3D file formats to be executed directly inside the Maya user interface. A good product overview can be found by clicking here.


    1. I cannot get my PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-ins to execute.
    2. What is the best way to exchange complete scenes between 3ds Max and Maya?
    3. Where can I find information about importing CAD files into Maya?
    4. Importing a models into Maya which have a large number of polygons takes forever. What is wrong?
    5. How do I add a icon on my shelf to execute PolyTrans-for-Maya?
    6. Do you support bidirectional animation conversion within Maya?
    7. Do you support skinning (skeleton deformations) to/from Maya?
    8. No camera animation data is being imported.
    9. Imported animation has different keyframe values from the source 3D program, or there is jitter.
    10. Can I export animated NULL hierarchies from Maya to 3ds Max?
    11. Can I use PolyTrans-for-Maya while running the Maya command line version?
    12. Can I perform batch conversions or use MEL scripting with PolyTrans-for-Maya?


    1. I cannot get my PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-ins to execute. - Top

    This FAQ entry is provided more as a hypothetical situation rather than a common problem. It is super rare when PolyTrans-for-Maya won't work out of the box.

    Rest assured that the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in system always works. The problems come down to simple end-user installation issues.

    Okino software uses the "Okino Plug-Ins Super Installer" to have the 3ds Max, Maya and Softimage plug-ins automatically installed. Keep in mind that you must install Okino's stand-alone PolyTrans or NuGraf products first before running the super installer.

    1. Does Maya report the error "Error: No plug-ins loaded - "The specified procedure could not be found"?

      • Go to the Maya plug-in manager and make sure the "ptio.mll" module is set to "loaded" and "auto load". Type "pt" on the Maya command line and see if the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in system control panel appears.


    2. If the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in system fails to initialize and show up in the Maya plug-in manager then the cause is always due to one of the following cases:


      • Make sure you are logged in as the Windows administrator and have UAC disabled ("User Access Control"). UAC is disabled by going into the "User" control panel applet and selecting the "Change User Account Control Settings". In Windows 7 the next dialog box will display a slider which you will want to set to "Never Notify".

      • As something we see with about two customers per year, please make sure you installed the stand-alone PolyTrans or NuGraf software (and entered the license codes) with UAC disabled, and while logged in as the Windows administrator. If you do not do this then PolyTrans-for-Maya may not execute within Maya, or may not license properly. The fix: un-install the stand-alone PolyTrans or NuGraf program then re-install with UAC disabled + login as the Windows administrator. If anything can go wrong in this day and age, it would be this UAC + admin situation.

      • You might be mixing up 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions of PolyTrans-for-Maya on your machine. Many of our animation users do this since they are not aware that there is a difference between 32-bit and 64-bit software. If you are doing this then please write to support@okino.com with your serial number so that we can provide a refined explanation about how to correct this based on your existing licensed version of Okino software and the version of Maya you are using.

      • You have not rebooted your computer since you updated the global PATH environment variable or since you installed the PolyTrans-for-Maya system (common problem). Using the Okino "Super Installer" you will normally not have to reboot your computer.

      • Your global "PATH" environment variable is most probably too long. This was more common way back in 2004 or prior, but not any more. This was once a semi-common problem for most plug-in installations failures. The "Okino Plug-Ins Super Installer" appends the directory path of the main PolyTrans or NuGraf program to the end of this PATH environment variable. However, Microsoft Windows will ignore some of these entries if it is too long (this is a bug in all current versions of Windows). Please edit the current PATH string and remove all redundant entries. This can be edited by going into the "System" control panel applet in Windows (START menu, Settings, Control Panel) and modifying the "Advanced/Environment Variables" section. Please reboot if you make any changes to this PATH variable. You need to ensure this variable is set because Maya needs to know where the main Okino DLLs are located (the vc4_*.dlls or vc64*.dlls located in the main PolyTrans or NuGraf home directories).

      • Your global "PATH" environment variable does not have any entry which points to the main PolyTrans or NuGraf home directories. See the previous paragraph about how to edit this environment variable. You need to ensure this variable is set because Maya needs to know where the main Okino DLLs are located (the vc4_*.dlls or vc64*.dlls located in the main PolyTrans or NuGraf home directories). The Okino plug-ins super installer will automatically add this entry in all cases. Please reboot if you make any changes to it.

      • You are using the wrong version of the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in module (ptio.mll or ptio64.mll) for Maya. Every version of Maya requires a different version of PolyTrans-for-Maya.

      • You have mixed up a newer version of the stand-alone PolyTrans software with an older version of the Maya plug-in module (ptio.mll or ptio64.mll in the Maya bin\plug-ins directory). If you had recently installed an update from Okino then please ensure that you updated the PolyTrans or NuGraf main installation as well as the Maya plug-in and optionally the PolyTrans-for-3dsMax plug-in system as well. Send email to support@okino.com if you need further clarifications.


      After installation you may want to review the "ptio.chm" file which is installed into the Maya "bin\plug-ins" directory. This is the complete online help system for PolyTrans-for-Maya.

      You may also want to review the "ptio_maya_install.txt" file which is installed into the Maya "bin\plug-ins" directory.
      This contains all possible information about getting PolyTrans-for-Maya installed and running (which otherwise should be automated by the Okino super installer).

      Send email to support@okino.com if you need further clarifications.

      - Updated: May 12, 2017


    2. What is the best way to exchange complete scenes between 3ds Max and Maya? - Top

    For over 2 decades Okino's core development and business has been in providing the one and only dedicated, professional bidirectional conversion system between 3ds Max and Maya.

    The system is set up as follows:

    - The core Okino PolyTrans or NuGraf software is first installed.

    - PolyTrans-for-3dsMax is installed into 3ds Max using the "Okino Super Installer"

    - PolyTrans-for-Maya is installed into Maya using the "Okino Super Installer"

    Thereafter, you will convert between 3ds Max and Maya using the Okino .bdf "data transfer file format". This is the most accurate and refined method to transfer entire scenes bidirectionally, including geometry, hierarchy, materials, lights, cameras, animation data, mesh skinning and texture mapping data.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    3. Where can I find information about importing CAD files into Maya? - Top

    Look in the "Common Answers to Importing from CAD File Formats" section of this FAQ.

    Also review the "Potential Speedups of the PolyTrans to Maya Transfer process" in the "Other pertinent info" section of the PolyTrans-for-Maya help file (ptio.chm). This can be accessed by pressing the Help button on the PolyTrans-for-Maya UI panel within Maya, or by viewing the ptio.chm file which is located in the 'maya\bin\plug-ins' directory. This section explains why Maya can be very slow to import CAD files (or any large file in general) and the methods which can be used to speed up the process.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    4. Importing a models into Maya which have a large number of polygons takes forever. What is wrong? - Top

    A long time ago, Maya v2.51 added the new capability of importing vertex normals for its mesh based objects (these are needed to represent the smoothing of the objects). However, the internal routines inside Maya can become incredibly slow to accept the vertex normals during an import process of large mesh models. The solution is to choose the “Create new vertex normals based on angles” radio button on the “Mesh” sub-panel of the PolyTrans-for-Maya “Import Options” panel; this will use smoothing groups instead of the more accurate vertex normals.

    There are 6 more extensively worded "speed-up solutions & historical explanations" provided in the "Potential Speedups of the PolyTrans to Maya Transfer process" in the "Other pertinent info" section of the PolyTrans-for-Maya help file (ptio.chm). This can be accessed by pressing the Help button on the PolyTrans-for-Maya UI panel within Maya, or by viewing the ptio.chm file which is located in the 'maya\bin\plug-ins' directory. This section explains why Maya can be very slow to import CAD files (or any large file in general) and the methods which can be used to speed up the process.
    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    5. How do I add a icon on my shelf to execute PolyTrans-for-Maya? - Top

    Once the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in has been successfully installed you can execute PolyTrans by typing 'pt' in the Maya command line. A more convenient method is to add a bitmap icon to a Maya command shelf. The method is described as follows:

    1) Execute Maya. From the main menu of Maya select the menu option:

    "Window/Settings-Preferences//Shelves..."

    2) Under the "Shelves" tab, select which shelf you wish to add the icon.

    3) Press the "Shelf Contents" tab and highlight one of the entries in the list box that you wish to become the PolyTrans execution icon.

    3B) Change the "Label" type-in to read "PolyTrans"

    3C) Press the "Change Image..." and locate the "pt_icon.bmp" file which was installed by the "setup_ptio.exe" installer program. This location is typically something like:

    "C:\program files\Autodesk\Maya\bin\plug-ins"

    where "C:" should be replaced by the hard disk drive letter where Maya is installed on your machine.

    4) Press the "Edit Commands" tab and enter this new command sequence:

    pt;

    5) Click the "Close" button to exit this edit dialog box.

    You should now be able to execute PolyTrans by pressing this new command icon.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    6. Do you support bidirectional animation conversion within Maya? - Top

    Yes. We have spent well over a decade cloning the best aspects of the animation engines from 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, Lightwave, DirectX, Collada, CINEMA-4D, FBX and U3D so that our core software can import, retain and export the native animation data of these 3d packages. Our core software handles Bezier/TCB/Linear keyframe interpolators, and quaternion/Euler/Angle-Axis rotation types. Cross conversion between all these animation methods is transparently handled by the core software.

    For 3ds Max and Maya, our most popular conversion path for animation professionals, we have developed our "Artic" toolkit that intelligently handles the plethora of 3ds max's procedural and keyframe animation controllers. If a controller is procedural then the Arctic toolkit will resample it frame by frame (using matrices), break down the matrices into SRT values (as well as adding new nodes to the hierarchy if off-axis scaling is present) and output keyframe lists compatible with the destination package. For animated skinned meshes, the Artic toolkit also has the unique feature of stripping off the off-axis scaling from Bipeds and propagating it to children nodes.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    7. Do you support skinning (skeleton deformations) to/from Maya? - Top

    Yes, very much so. Several continuous years of working has been invested in our skinning support. We have very strong internal and 'smart' conversion of skeletons and skinning weights.

    We support the import and export of 'smooth skinning' (not rigid skinning, which is cluster deformations) to/from other 3D packages such as 3ds Max, Softimage, Lightwave, Collada, FBX, DirectX, CINEMA-4D, U3D and DirectX.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    8. No camera animation data is being imported. - Top

    You need to enable the "Import camera animation" checkbox on the PolyTrans-for-Maya "Import Options" dialog box.

    You may also need to enable the camera animation import option on the file format importer module itself (such as on the CINEMA-4D, Collada, FBX, Lightwave, Softimage, etc. import options dialog box).

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    9. Imported animation has different keyframe values from the source 3D program, or there is jitter. - Top

    Simple solution: disable the "Keyframe Resampling" and "Keyframe Reduction" options on the "Animation" panel of the PolyTrans-for-Maya "Import Options" dialog box.

    When animation data is imported into Maya via the PolyTrans-for-Maya plug-in system the data is always resampled and reduced by default. However this is not always advantageous or necessary. For example, when importing from Lightwave the resampling always occurs at the Lightwave import stage and this does not need to be done again when importing into the Maya stage.

    You can also reduce the keyframe reduction tolerance values to cause less keyframes to be removed from the dataset. You are in complete control over how many keyframes are to be removed.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    10. Can I export animated NULL hierarchies from Maya to 3ds Max? - Top

    Yes. Go to the "Export Options" panel of PolyTrans-for-Maya and enable the "Output branches with no geometry" option and then export an Okino .bdf file to 3ds Max. Open up the .bdf file inside 3ds Max using the most recent PolyTrans-for-3dsMax utility panel plug-in system.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    11. Can I use PolyTrans-for-Maya while running the Maya command line version? - Top

    Yes. It has been proven quite possible. PolyTrans-for-Maya has a complete Windows graphical user interface but it also sports a nice but compact set of MEL scripting interfaces. This will allow you to invoke PolyTrans-for-Maya via MEL commands while running the command line only version of Maya.

    A good example of this was done by a user who wanted to transfer data between Softimage and Maya automatically. He did this by invoking the command line version of Maya from inside Softimage and scripting the conversion process performed by PolyTrans via MEL commands.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


    12. Can I perform batch conversions or use MEL scripting with PolyTrans-for-Maya? - Top

    Yes, absolutely. Please read the PolyTrans-for-Maya online help system. It fully describes the MEL interface commands. You can use the MEL scripting interface to import or export any scene via the PolyTrans 3D file formats. Batch conversion can be done by writing a MEL script with all filenames to be converted.

    As an interesting case in point, one user has ran Maya in command line mode (no user interface) and controlled the PolyTrans converters via MEL commands. The process involved moving data back and forth between Maya and Softimage. Maya was executed and controlled by Softimage, as was the PolyTrans-for-Maya converter system.

    - Updated: May 12, 2017


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