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The Maya NIF File Translator currently supports importing and exporting static (non-animated) NIF files. Pre-compiled versions are available for Maya 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, and 8.5 for Windows. To use on other versions of Maya or other operating systems, you will need to compile from source.

This Plug-in will not import all data in the NIF file or export all data from your Maya scene. Make sure you do not overwrite your original NIF files. See below for a list of what is and is not supported as of version 0.5.7.


Known Issues

  • Importing normals does not work on skinned meshes
  • Changes to an already bound skin will not show up in the export. This is an issue with the way Maya works. The solution is to delete all non-deformer history. Note that if you accidentally delete all history, all your skins will be detached, so check to make sure your skins still work before saving.

What is Currently Supported


The following are imported:

  • NiNodes are imported as either transforms or ikJoints.
  • NiTriShapes and NiTriStrips are imported as polygon meshes.
  • NiAlphaProperty and NiSpecularProperty are honored.
  • NiMaterialProperties and NiTexturingProperties are imported as Phong shaders.
  • Meshes with a NiSkinInstance are bound to the skeleton.
  • Simple collision boxes used in some games are imported as implicitBox nodes.

The following are not imported:

  • Animation of any kind
  • Oblivion Havok collision information.
  • Special nodes like Billboards lose their special properties.
  • Cameras
  • Lights
  • Environment Maps
  • Anything else not listed


The following are exported:

  • Polygon meshes (triangulation is not necessary). Components exported are vertex positions, normals, vertex colors and UV coordinates for supported texture types. They can either be in triangle list or triangle strip format.
  • DAG nodes other than meshes are exported as NiNodes and include transform information. Maya's default DAG nodes like the default cameras are ignored. Visibility is exported by flagging the NiNode as hidden. History items are not exported.
  • Any shaders connected to a mesh. Meshes are automatically split into multiple NiTriShapes by material. Attributes exported are color, transparency (averaged), ambient color, incandescence, and specular color. Color and incandescence can be textures.
  • Any textures connected to a mesh through a material's color or incandescence attributes. Paths are fixed to remove anything in the texture folder option.
  • Skin bindings are exported so long as only one skin cluster affects a mesh.
  • Implicit box nodes with their transform parented to another transform node are treated as simple collision boxes used in some games. To create one, execute the following command in the command line at the bottom of the screen: createNode implicitBox; You can then parent this box to the node that will hold the simple collision box.

The following are not exported:

  • Animation of any kind
  • Oblivion Havok collision information.
  • Cameras
  • Lights
  • Environment Maps
  • Anything else not listed
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