I'm working with Maya for a uni course and still really green with it. I've got (what is probably) a fairly simple issue. So apologies if this is really basic.

Basically we've been building a character in Maya, and in a separate file, we've been building a unicycle for said character to ride. However, when I import the character into my unicycle file, the character is a literal giant in comparison. I'm assuming I've accidentally constructed my character using centimeter units of scale, while the unicycle has been built using millimeters.

So I need to know how I can resize my character down to the millimeter scale so it fits with the unicycle?

The character already has joints and bound skin, I'm hoping that doesn't complicate things too much.

  • I've never used Maya so this is just an assumption, but can't you scale your model using percentage? Could you not just scale the character down to 10%
    – SaturnsEye
    May 20, 2014 at 14:00
  • Do you have a master rig control for your character? If so you should be able to scale it down depending on whether you've locked your scale channels or not. Can you scale the unicycle UP to the character?
    – ckpepper02
    May 20, 2014 at 14:05
  • @SaturnsEye Basically how I just did it :D. I had tried this, but it wasn't working due to skin binding (which I eventually figured out). Detaching the skin, grouping everything, re-scaling to 10% and then re-binding the skin seems to have done the job. Thanks for the suggestions guys. May 20, 2014 at 14:24
  • Go ahead and post as an answer when it's available to close this question out.
    – ckpepper02
    May 20, 2014 at 14:31
  • the alternative option is just to group the bone structure and scale that group. For a fully bound skeleton with one tree this shanges the entire model.
    – joojaa
    May 22, 2014 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


Open your character scene and set your working units there. Your working units are under Window > Settings/Preferences > Preferences - look for Settings on the left-hand side. Then import the file.

Bear in mind of your FAR CLIP PLANE on your camera settings, as depending on the units you choose, it can make your objects appear as they are miles away, so your Far Clip Plane must be high so the camera can "see" them.

Hope that helps!

  • never ever change mayas unit just scale the root transform down. maya will not like the unit change, and the end run can be FAR worse than changing a half functional setting.
    – joojaa
    May 20, 2014 at 17:35
  • To add to what joojaa said, I've always been told (and read) that you should leave Maya's units as meters and scale everything yourself. Some of the more complex functions in Maya and MEL depend on meters (for some crazy reason changing the working units doesn't work...) Sep 2, 2014 at 18:41
  • Those kind of issues never happened to me in Maya while working with rigs and changing the working units...
    – guzforster
    May 10, 2017 at 21:04

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