Version: 2019.1 (switch to 2018.4
Supported Model file formats
Importing skinned Meshes
Other Versions

Limitations when importing from other applications

Note: This section describes limitations with proprietary file formats that use FBX conversion. However, there are two file formats that do not use FBX as an intermediary: SketchUp and SpeedTree. For more information about limitations with these file formats, see SketchUp Settings and SpeedTree.

When Unity imports a proprietary file, it launches the 3D modeling software in the background. Unity then communicates with that proprietary software to convert the native file into a format Unity can read.

The first time you import a proprietary file into Unity, the 3D modeling software has to launch in a command-line process. This can take a while, but subsequent imports are very quick.

Warning: It is recommended that you export to FBX instead of directly saving your application files in the Project. It is not recommended to use native file formats directly in production.

Requirements

You need to have the 3D modeling software installed to import proprietary files directly into Unity. If you don’t have the software installed, use the FBX format instead. For more information about importing FBX files, see Model Import Settings window.

Application-specific issues

You import files in the same way, regardless of whether they are generic or proprietary files. However, there are some differences between which features are supported. For more information on the limitations with a specific 3D application, see:

Importing objects from Autodesk® Maya®

Unity imports Autodesk® Maya® files (.mb and .ma) through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All nodes with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with vertex colors, normals and up to 2 UV sets
  • Materials with texture and diffuse color; multiple materials per mesh
  • Animation
  • Joints
  • Blendshapes
  • Lights and Cameras
  • Visibilty
  • Custom property animation

Tip: For information on how to export an FBX file from Autodesk® Maya®, see Exporting from other applications.

Limitations

Unity does not support Autodesk® Maya®’s Rotate Axis (pre-rotation).

Joint limitations include:

  • Joint Orient (joint only post-rotation)
  • Segment Scale Compensate (joint only option)

Unity imports and supports any Rotate Order you specify in Autodesk® Maya®; however, once imported, you cannot change that order again inside Unity. If you import a Model that uses a different rotation order from Unity’s, Unity displays that rotation order in the InspectorA Unity window that displays information about the currently selected GameObject, Asset or Project Settings, alowing you to inspect and edit the values. More info
See in Glossary
beside the Rotation property.

Tips and troubleshooting

  • Keep your sceneA Scene contains the environments and menus of your game. Think of each unique Scene file as a unique level. In each Scene, you place your environments, obstacles, and decorations, essentially designing and building your game in pieces. More info
    See in Glossary
    simple: only export the objects you need in Unity when exporting.
  • Unity only supports polygons, so convert any patches or NURBS surfaces into polygons before exporting; see Autodesk® Maya® documentation for instructions.
  • If your model did not export correctly, the node history in Autodesk® Maya® might be causing a problem. In Autodesk® Maya®, select Edit > Delete by Type > Non-Deformer History and then re-export the model.
  • The Autodesk® Maya® FBX Exporter bakes un-supported complex animations constraints, such as Set Driven Keys, in order to import the animation into Unity properly. If you are using Set Driven Keys in Autodesk® Maya®, make sure to set keys on your drivers in order for the animation to be baked properly. For more information, see the Autodesk® Maya® documentation on KeyframeA frame that marks the start or end point of a transition in an animation. Frames in between the keyframes are called inbetweens.
    See in Glossary
    Animation.
  • In Autodesk® Maya®, the visibility value is present on each shape but can’t be animated and is not exported to the FBX file. Always set the visibility value on a node and not on a shape.

Importing objects from Cinema 4D

Unity imports Cinema 4D files (.c4d) through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All objects with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with UVs and normals
  • Materials with texture and diffuse color; multiple materials per mesh
  • Animations FK (IK needs to be baked manually)
  • Bone-based animations

Tip: For information on how to export an FBX file from Cinema 4D, see Exporting from other applications.

Limitations

Unity does not import Cinema 4D’s Point Level Animations (PLA). Use bone-based animations instead.

Cinema 4D does not export visibility inheritance. Set the Renderer to ‘Default’ or ‘Off’ in Cinema 4D to avoid any difference in the visibility animation between Cinema4D and Unity.

Importing Objects From Autodesk® 3ds Max®

Unity imports Autodesk® 3ds Max® files (.max) through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All nodes with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with vertex colors, normals and one or more UV sets
  • Materials with diffuse texture and color. Multiple materials per mesh
  • Animations
  • Bone-based animations
  • Morphing (Blendshapes)
  • Visibility

Note: Saving a Autodesk® 3ds Max® file (.max) or exporting a generic 3D file type (.fbx) each has advantages and disadvantages see class-Mesh.

Tip: For information on how to export an FBX file from Autodesk® 3ds Max®, see Exporting from other applications.

Importing objects from Cheetah3D

Unity imports Cheetah3D files (.jas) through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All nodes with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with vertices, polygons, triangles, UVs, and normals
  • Animations
  • Materials with diffuse color and textures

Tip: For information on how to export an FBX file from Cheetah3D, see Exporting from other applications.

Importing objects from Modo

Unity imports Modo files (.lxo) through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All nodes with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with vertices, normals and UVs.
  • Materials with Texture and diffuse color; multiple Materials per mesh
  • Animations

To get started, save your .lxo file in your Project’s Assets folder. In Unity, the file appears in the Project ViewA view that shows the contents of your Assets folder (Project tab) More info
See in Glossary
.

Unity re-imports the Asset when it detects a change in the .lxo file.

Tip: For information on how to export an FBX file from Modo, see Exporting from other applications.

Importing objects from Lightwave

Unity imports Lightwave files through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All nodes with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with up to 2 UV channels
  • Normals
  • Materials with Texture and diffuse color; multiple materials per mesh
  • Animations
  • Bone-based animations

You can also configure the Lightwave AppLink plug-inA set of code created outside of Unity that creates functionality in Unity. There are two kinds of plug-ins you can use in Unity: Managed plug-ins (managed .NET assemblies created with tools like Visual Studio) and Native plug-ins (platform-specific native code libraries). More info
See in Glossary
which automatically saves the FBX export settings you use the first time you import your Lightwave scene file into Unity. For more information, see the Lightwave Unity Interchange documentation.

Tip: For information on how to export an FBX file from Lightwave file, see Exporting from other applications.

Limitations

Bake your Lightwave-specific materials as textures so that Unity can read them. For information on doing this using a non-destructive pipeline, see Node system in Lightwave.

Unity does not support splines or patches. Convert all splines and patches to polygons before saving and exporting to Unity. For more information, see Lightwave documentation.

Importing objects from Blender

Unity imports Blender (.blend) files through the FBX format, supporting the following:

  • All nodes with position, rotation and scale; pivot points and names are also imported
  • Meshes with vertices, polygons, triangles, UVs, and normals
  • Bones
  • Skinned Meshes
  • Animations

For information on how to optimize importing your Blender file into Unity, see Exporting from other applications.

Limitations

Textures and diffuse color are not assigned automatically. You can manually assign them by dragging the texture onto the meshThe main graphics primitive of Unity. Meshes make up a large part of your 3D worlds. Unity supports triangulated or Quadrangulated polygon meshes. Nurbs, Nurms, Subdiv surfaces must be converted to polygons. More info
See in Glossary
in the Scene ViewAn interactive view into the world you are creating. You use the Scene View to select and position scenery, characters, cameras, lights, and all other types of Game Object. More info
See in Glossary
in Unity.

Blender does not export the visibility value inside animations in the FBX file.


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Supported Model file formats
Importing skinned Meshes