Friday, September 25th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Baya exports your Blender models as Maya files

Games environment artist Peter Gubin has released Baya: a neat new Blender add-on that enables users to export models in Maya’s native .ma format.

As well as making it easier for artists at studios that use Blender and Maya in their pipelines to exchange assets, the plugin is intended to streamline workflow when using Maya-oriented game engine exporters.

Export hard surface models from Blender in Maya’s native file format
Baya makes it possible to export assets from Blender in .ma (Maya ASCII) format, rather than having to go through an intermediate format like FBX.

The plugin also creates a bridge between the two applications. It isn’t quite a live link, since you have to refresh the Maya scene to see updates, but it’s a one-click process.

At the minute, Baya is mainly going to be useful for hard-surface models: the plugin supports polygonal geometry, plus shading information like soft edges and custom vertex normals.

The export process preserves transforms, object visibility and object hierarchies, with Blender collections being converted to Maya nodes.

Modifiers visible in the Blender scene – among others, the demo above shows the Array modifier – are applied during the export process.

Vertex colours, material IDs and UVs are exported, but not textures: something planned for future updates.

Gubin also plans to add support for armature transfer and Havok nodes, which should also make it possible to use Baya to transfer characters as well as hard surface assets.

Pricing and system requirements
Baya is compatible with Blender 2.80+. It costs $14.85.

Read more about Baya in the plugin’s listing on the BlenderMarket online store