Maya - Animation

This tutorial has been adapted from the community generated Animation Wiki.

General FBX export options are generally identical to 3ds Max.

Maya animation fbx export settings


Animations joint hierarchies that use IK handles, IK splines, or constraints will not export or animate properly unless the animation is baked to the joints.

Optional Baking Animations before exporting: Edit → Keys → Bake Simulation → option box. Baking every certain number of frames can help keep file sizes small, such as every 2 frames or 4 frames etc, You are also able to bake part of or whole hierarchies. If you do this, there is no need to bake animation in the fbx export settings.


When you have complex rigs with lots of hierarchy and controls, its best to use export selected for FBX.

  • Select all of the geometry, and then select the bone at the top of the hierarchy before exporting. This leaves out the numerous redundant groups, controls, and constraints that are not compatible with Sketchfab.

  • When exporting, make one group that include everything that skinned.

  • Unit Scale: Changing the Scale Factor"during export may cause problems with how the model displays in Sketchfab. By default, this is set to Scale Factor: 1.0.

  • Animation Speed: 24 fps is ideal for 1.0x speed on Sketchfab.

  • Failure to "export selected": Using "export all' has given an error where the animation still plays, but its followed by lengthy static time until it loops again.

  • Failure to animate at 24 fps: The animation either plays too slow or too fast . Easily remedied by using the x.05 or x 2.0 animation speed options, but that has to be done manually each time the model is loaded.

  • Setting the baking sampling to 0.2 can avoid bad interpolation.

Animation Tips and tricks

  • Keyed object visibility is not recognized by sketchfab
    • To give the illusion of objects appearing/disappearing, key its scaling on one frame, then scale it to zero the next or (vice versa). Can be done with joints with skinning and meshs. Works best with small projectiles.

  • With looping animations, the first and last key tend to be the same. This can cause a slight pause in animations keeping them from looking smooth.

    • By baking the animation with out the first or last frame, the animation will play smooth.

    • Maya FBX may export all frames in the scene so be sure to crop the timeline to the exact time you wish to play on Sketchfab.

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