Convert Maya 2 Google Earth

Maya 2 Google EarthEyebeam’s Production Studio has developed a free open-source tool for converting models from the popular computer animation modeling program Maya (now from Autodesk which bought Alias). They call the tool simply enough Maya2GoogleEarth. Since Maya has been used by TV and movie production studios for special effects, this means all kinds of interesting models could be made available for viewing in Google Earth. The folks at Eyebeam had previously released a tool called OGLE (Open GL Extractor) which allows you to take models from Windows 3D Applications (for example 3D games) and extract them into a model which can be used in Google Earth (see story at OgleEarth). The example here (5.7 Mbytes) is of some replicated giant female “gnomes” in a park in New York City.
Highly detailed models like these…

Highly detailed models like these take up a fair amount of memory. And my experience with GE is that it is not optimized for these kinds of models at ths point. In other words, it can slow down the use of the application. But, you could certainly set up some interesting screenshots. The Maya2GE tool was developed by Theodore Watson, Cathy Shive and Evan Harper, with help and inspiration from Michael Frumin and Rob O’Neill. Great work guys!
I would have written this sooner, but the examples Eyebeam had posted were not downloading properly due to a minor glitch in server set up. Which they promptly fixed yesterday when I contacted them. You can also read interesting comments by Stefan at OgleEarth on this.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Junk software:
    The OpenGl Extractor, in conjunction with the “Eyebeam” solution, is one of those ‘half-ass’ programs that barely/rarely work, and require a relatively distracting set-up and maintainance.
    Don’t bother writing Eyebeam either, if they even bother to respond, you’ll be treated like a fool if you ask them why it barely works. (Shoot the messenger/duck the issue type attitude.)
    It’s a sloppy compile, barely works, and only on about 10% of the systems we tried it on.
    (We’re being generous!)
    It also has a very suspicious function… more on this when we know (or care) more.
    There’s much better “real” software out there for ripping Google Earth… and more coming very soon. Seek and you shall find.
    3D Ripper DX works much better for this, and they actually answer support questions and Emails without a condescending “We’re smarter than you idiots” tone, or “you must be a moron if you can’t get this to work… it works great for us!”
    Blender can also do this… (the process is much more straighforward) and again their support is also professional and in depth.
    Additionally, I’m aware of at least two programs in the pipeline which will make this junk software a non-issue.
    Eyebeam/OGLE: Should stick to making their “Dungeons and dragons” nerd figure toys, leave the real development to someone who knows how to actually make a program that works as advertised every time, for everyone, not just 3% and “everyone else must be a moron”.
    (What reality do you expect from the “foam sword and dragon” crowd??! haha)
    I’d love to be able to start a whole blog to pat myself on the back, for doing 3% work!!!
    Must be nice!

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