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UE4/Maya LT: Set Up Grid in Maya LT/Maya to Match Unreal Engine 4

Category: Unreal Engine 4, 3D Modeling: Maya LT
July 07, 2015
Full Text Tutorial and Notes:

Common issue with creating custom Static Meshes for Unreal Engine 4 or any other game engine is to have the exact same scale and dimensions translate from your 3d modeling application to Unreal Engine 4.

In this tutorial you will learn what to do to set up the grid in Maya/Maya LT to match the grid inside Unreal Engine 4 editor.

Once you do, anything you create inside Maya, will translate directly in scale and proportion to Unreal Engine 4. Everything will stay on the grid and to the same size as you modeled it inside Maya.

This is exactly how I have my grid set up in Maya for Unreal Engine 4.

Unreal Engine 4 Scale:

One important element of scale you need to know is 1uu=1cm.

  • 1 Unreal Unit = 1 Centimeter

Step 1:

First, you need to make sure that you have working units in Maya, set to centimeters.

Go to Window > Setting/Preferences > Preferences:

Then inside Settings and under Working Units check that Linear is set to centimeter:

Step 2:

Now, let’s set up our grid.

Go to Display > Grid Options:

Under Size set the following values:

  • Length/Width: 1,000 units (this controls how large your grid is going to be in perspective viewport; set this to 1,000 to start with but you can always increase/decrease as needed). This is the overall grid size and not the size of each grid unit
  • Grid lines every: 10 units (this controls grid unit lines as it does in UE4; so if you can set this value to 5, 10, 50, 100 and it will match the UE4 grid snaps). Changing this value corresponds to changing the grid size in UE4.
  • Subdivisions: 1 (this has to be set to 1 in order to match “Grid Lines Every” value; think of this as grid scale 1=1 or 1 to 1 grid scale ratio); if you just set this to 1 then when you change “Grid lines every”, it will match UE4 exactly.

Step 3:

Test it.

Best way to see if this is working is to create a box of specific dimensions and export it to UE4.

Here I created a cube of 100x100x100 units in Maya LT:

Inside UE4, here is the same exact box imported:

I also created a BSP box with same exact dimensions (100x100x100) right next to the imported box to see if the size matches; and it does:

Step 4:

Inside Unreal Engine 4 project make sure that "Measuring Tool Units" are set to centimeters. It should be set by default.

Go to Edit > Editor Preferences:

Under Level Editor: Viewports > Look and under Feel: Measuring Tool Units > Centimeters:

From here on, everything you create in Maya and exported to UE4 will match in scale and dimensions across both software.

UE4: Custom Static Mesh Formula: Step-by-Step Pipeline to Static Meshes for UE4

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