Using Multiple Materials in Maya and Exporting to COLLADA Format

This tutorial goes over how to create two separate materials for an object in Maya, then continuing to export them to Collada format with OpenCollada.

Creating the Spheres

First, create objects for the materials to go on, here I am using a sphere; however you may already have your models ready or want to use a different polygon. Go to Create, Polygon Primitives, Sphere. Also, interactive creation is not on here but if you would like for it to be, check it on and click and drag on the grid to create a different sphere.


Next, press “W” or select the move tool on the left toolbar to move the object so it is sitting on the planar grid.


Now, press Ctrl+D on your keyboard to duplicate the sphere. Again, press “W” or select the move tool from the toolbar and move the duplicated sphere so it does not remain inside the original.


Assigning the Materials

Right click your mouse and hold down while your cursor is hovering on a sphere, then go to Assign Favorite Material, and select one from the list; here I am using a Lambert.


Now you can edit the material you just assigned to the sphere in the attribute editor. Go to what should be named something similar to Lambert1. Click on the rectangular box next to where it says “Color” and now you can mix and choose which color you want.


Repeat each step from assigning a new material onward to the next sphere.


Merging the Objects

Make sure you are in “Polygons” menu then go to Mesh, Combine. Now both of the spheres are one object with two separate materials. Once that’s done we can begin to export to Collada format.


Exporting to Collada Format

Go to File, Export All, and click on the hollow box on the right to bring up the options.


Mimic the settings seen here to export the materials:


Fist of all, make sure to add _LOD1 post-fix to the name of your dae file (for example Spheres_LOD1.dae). Once you have started Vanda Engine, go to Prefab mode via Mode | Prefab menu, then go to File > Import > External Scenes… Select the file you just exported.


Your scene should open with both spheres still being identified as one object. If you were to try to select only one by clicking on it, it would select both.


To select them as separate objects go to Modify, Geometry, and uncheck “Geometry Based Selection”. Now if you click on just the blue sphere it will only select the blue sphere since it is now selecting based on material.


The Author

Krista Albert (

I’m an aspiring 3D game artist and a current student at the School of Visual Arts. My main focus right now is in modeling/sculpting, texturing, and lighting 3D environments as well as characters.

(c) copyright Zehne Ziba Co., Ltd. For more information, please refer to copyright notice.

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