References » Enabling Maya (.ma/.mb) Thumbnails

Due to the proprietary nature of Maya .ma and .mb files, Yadle requires access to Maya CLI tools to generate turntable thumbnails for these file types. The following guide will explain how to configure Yadle to communicate with a local installation of Maya in order to serve this purpose.


  • SSH access to a system with Maya installed.
  • Username and password credentials for ssh session.
  • IP address/hostname of system with Maya installed.

Verify SSH Access and Maya CLI Tools Installed

The following steps will confirm the pre-requisites have been met and Maya cli tools can be reached.

Step 1: Connect to system that has Maya installed via ssh.

This is the system that will be used by Yadle to generate thumbnails for Maya .ma and .mb files. Replace <username> with the appropriate user that has ssh access and <ip/hostname> with the IP address or Hostname of the system with Maya installed. You will be prompted for the user’s password.

$ ssh <username>@<ip/hostname>

Step 2: Verify that the Maya cli tool can be executed.

This can be quickly verified by checking the version of the Maya cli tool. Replace <path to Maya> with the appropriate path where Maya cli tool has been installed.

$ <path to Maya>/maya -v

This should output a response similar to:

Maya 2019, Cut Number 201812112215

Step 3: Verify Render tool can be executed.

Render is another cli tool needed for generating Maya file thumbnails. To quickly verify this can run, invoke the help option. Replace <path to Render> with the appropriate path where Render tool has been installed.

$ <path to Render>/Render -help

This should output a response beginning with:

Usage: ./Render [options] filename
       where "filename" is a Maya ASCII or a Maya binary file.

Configure Yadle Microservices for Maya (.ma/.mb) Thumbnails

Once it has been verified that ssh access is established and both maya and Render cli tools can be executed, next is to configure the Yadle microservices to utilize this separate Maya installed system.

Step 1: Stop Yadle agent microservices.

Before making any config changes to your Yadle environment, the Yadle agent microservices need to be stopped. Go to agent microservices install directory and run stop_yadle script.

$ cd /opt/yadle/microservices/agent
$ sudo ./stop_yadle

Step 2: Create maya.json configuration file that specifies the necessary parameters for ssh access and location of maya and Render cli tools.

The maya.json file needs to be located in the following directory: /opt/yadle/microservices/agent/config/geometry_thumbnails. In this guide vi is used to create the file and append lines to it.

$ cd /opt/yadle/microservices/agent/config/geometry_thumbnails
$ sudo vi maya.json

Add the following lines to the maya.json file. Make sure to enter the appropriate parameters specific for your environment. Once done, save this file.

    "maya_enabled": true,
    "ssh": {
        "url": "<IP/hostname of system with Maya installed>",
        "username": "<username on system ex. root>",
        "password": "<password of user on system>",
        "maya_location": "<ex. /usr/local/bin/maya>",
        "Render_location": "<ex. /usr/local/bin/Render>"

Step 3: Start Yadle agent microservices.

After creating and saving the maya.json file, the Yadle agent microservices can be restarted. Go to agent microservices install directory and run start_yadle script.

$ cd /opt/yadle/microservices/agent
$ sudo ./start_yadle