Create Striking Graphics With Maya & Photoshop

Export 3D models from Maya to Photoshop for use in your graphics.

As of August 2010, Maya is a 3D modeling and animation application that is frequently used in television, motion pictures and video game production. Photoshop is also a commonly-used photo-editing and graphics program, and combining the abilities of these two programs can result in remarkable graphics. In the past, if a Photoshop user wanted to make use of 3D models produced in Maya, he would render out an image of them and import and composite that image into Photoshop. However, with the release of Photoshop CS3 Extended, it became possible to import Maya models directly.


1. Open Maya. Select “File” from the menu and choose “Open Scene.” Browse to a scene containing a model you would like to use in Photoshop and open it. Select the particular model in the scene you want to use.

2. Select “Windows” from the menu and choose “Settings/Preferences.” From the options, choose “Plugin Manager.”

3. Select “File” from the menu and choose “Export Selected.” From the options, choose “OBJ” as the file type and click “Export.” Close Maya.

4. Open Photoshop CS3 Extended (or better). Select “File” from the menu and choose “Open.” In the dialog that appears, browse to a document that you would like to add the model to and open it.

5. Select “Layers” from the menu and choose “3D Layers.” From the options, choose “3D layer From File.” The model will be imported as a layer.

6. Go to the “Layers” palette and right-click on the layer. From the options choose “Transform 3D Model.” A new set of tools will appear that you can use to re-size and position the model in the document. You can also rotate it on all three axises. Save your work.

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