Maya Babylon Exporter will not export skeleton and animation

Hello, I have a Maya file that, with a different artist, successfully exported a .glb of a rigged object with a moderately complex skeleton. There are no controllers, etc., just the skinned bones. I have not been able to export it with the skeleton or its animations. It’s as if the Babylon exporter doesn’t see them. To test, I started with a fresh scene and rigged a cylinder with 3 bones and animated about 50 frames. Same result, no bones exported and no animation. This is confirmed in the exporter output window and by dropping the resulting .glb into Sandbox. I’m using Maya 2024. I’m at a loss, since it doesn’t seem to be an issue with the file in question, but perhaps with Maya or the Exporter plugin. Any help would be much appreciated!

cc @PatrickRyan

@JP_JP, if the skeleton hierarchy is at the root level of the scene, and not under a mesh object, create a locator in the scene at world 0 and move your skeleton to be a child of the locator. It seems as though the latest Maya exporter needs a mesh object at the root level of a skeleton to see the skeleton. This shouldn’t cost much as it won’t change the animations at all, and will only be one more mesh in the scene. Let me know if this doesn’t help or if you have more questions.

@PatrickRyan thanks so much for the quick response! I tried putting the bones under a locator as suggested and it only exported the locator. I also tried putting the bones under a primitive mesh with the same result. To clarify, your suggestion was to move ONLY the bones under a locator, and not the other meshes being exported?

@PatrickRyan Also just confirmed the solution did not work with a fresh Maya scene with a cylinder and 4 bones

@JP_JP, probably easier to show you than try to explain in words. Here’s the hierarchy of the scene with mesh a sibling of the locator which is a parent of the skeleton:

I like to select the nodes that will be exported and then use Export only selected in the export options:

You can see in the console that the skeleton was picked up and exported. So you can dig into what I did, here’s the mb and glb for you to look at: (17.7 KB)

@PatrickRyan thank you so much! I downloaded your file, followed your instructions and set all my exporter settings exactly as in your screenshot. It still did not export the skeleton and therefor also no animation.

On loading your file, I got a few errors related to Arnold. I do not have the plugin installed currently. Is it in any way possible that that has something to do with my issue?

I also want to note, I have the exact same version of the Babylon Maya exporter that you are using. You had mentioned earlier in this thread that the “latest” version of the Maya exporter has this issue with skeletons needing a locator parent. Is it possible to get an older version of the exporter that pre-dates this issue?

@JP_JP, not having Arnold installed may have something to do with it, but I don’t know for certain. One of the things the exporter does is map Arnold materials to PBR material standards. It can do this with other materials as well, but I don’t know what the exporter does if Arnold materials are not available. You can use any version of the exporter that you prefer by downloading the specific version from Releases · BabylonJS/Exporters ( You will need to manually install it following Install the Maya Plugin | Babylon.js Documentation (

Maybe @srzerbetto knows if there is an exception thrown with the exporter if the Arnold plugin is not available. It may be worth enabling Arnold and see if that is indeed the issue before jumping into installing older versions.

I loaded the Arnold plugin and it didn’t solve the issue unfortunately, but it was worth a shot. I’ll start looking at earlier exporter versions. None of this make sense and it’s driving me bonkers lol.

1 Like

The other thing that may be happening here is the Maya version. The exporter should be able to be used in 2024, but since we did not release an updated 2024 version, there may be a change in Maya that is the root of all of this. I did my test in 2023, which is the last version to have a fully supported exporter. Like I say, the latest version of the exporter SHOULD work in 2024 barring any major changes to Maya, but even a relatively small change along our critical path could be the root cause for this. If you have access to a 2023 version, I would suggest trying to export in that version to see if there is something to this notion before going down the road of installing a lot of older exporter versions as they would have the same issue if it is a 2024 incompatibility.

1 Like

That was the issue. Maya 2023 exported the skeleton. While I’m not exactly “happy” to have been the guinea pig here, I’m glad to have helped find a real issue with the current Babylon exporter for Maya and Maya 2024. @PatrickRyan thank you so much for paying attention to this forum post and giving your time. I’ve been an end user of 3D software for 30 years and I can tell you that the attention to the user here from Babylon is and this community is impressive…and almost never seen from other software companies. So appreciated!


@JP_JP, while I’m sorry that you had to be the guinea pig on this issue, I can say that we can’t bring near the level of polish to the engine if the community wasn’t willing to raise their hand when something goes wrong. No matter how much you test, there will always be something that the community thinks to do that we did not and would never have found a particular interaction that exposes a bug.

I will track the issue for Maya 2024 and ask for a community contribution. Unfortunately, we can’t invest in new versions of the exporters because we know that Autodesk has glTF support on their roadmap but we don’t know when it’s coming. Our team is small, so investing in exporters we fully expect to be replaced by native export isn’t the best use of our limited resources. But there have been plenty of community contributions for the exporters so maybe we will find some help on it.

@PatrickRyan I definitely empathize with software dev and bug issues. It’s an expected variable for me as a user so I was pleased to help uncover something that helps your team and may help a user in the future. Thanks again, so much, for your help and attention!