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Scale settings for Maya < > UDK

To correctly model and import your meshes into an engine such as UDK (Unreal developers kit) we need to make sure we all work to a set scale to keep scale uniformity between different artists work once inside the engine. It is far easier to work to scale from the start than to backtrack at a later date and rescale your meshes (This can be a serious pain for skeletal meshes once skinned etc!)

Also on a more technical note scale needs to be broadly treated with care as to keep things like physics calculations in the engine working as they should and to generally stop odd things happening.

With UDK a scale is defined in the engine which we can easily work with inside Maya also. In UDK the unit of scale is a Unreal Unit “uu”.

Some important UDK scales to note.
1 Maya unit = 1 unreal unit (uu)
1 foot (roughly .3 m) = 16uu
Character height = 32x96x32uu (width, height, depth) (XYZ)
Doorways height = 128~ uu (This is my personal preference.)
Wall to ceiling = 256 uu (Again my estimate, decide what looks best yourself.)

You can find a free tool that gives you exact real world size to unit conversions here:
http://www.moddb.com/engines/unreal-engine-3/downloads/unreal-unit-converter1

Setting up the Maya “grid” for working with UDK

Go to the Grid settings in Maya (Display > Grid > ? Options)
Use these settings:
Maya to UDK scale settings

Length and width is really up to you. It just defines how large the grid is on screen.

Note on powers of 2
Keep all these numbers powers of 2 for clean spacing and snapping purposes (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_of_two for the math, NOTE: This does not mean you have to model to specific power of 2 sizes, it just helps the grid and things you place on it fit together in a clean way.

Grid lines set to 256
Subdivisions set to 16 (16 units is the default grid snapping scale defined in UDK)

See the UDN documentation for more information:
http://udn.epicgames.com/

Download the UDK Scene and Maya 2012 scene demo HERE.