Export Selection As Reference Options


Specifies export settings when selected objects in your scene are exported as referenced files. To access this window, in the Outliner, -click the object you want to export as a referenced file, and select Reference > Export Selection As Reference > from the menu that appears.

General Options

File type

Specifies the file type to use for the scene export. The selected file type determines which export options appear in the Export Options window.

NoteStarting in Maya 2014, the mayaBinary (.mb) file format uses 64-bit indices. Scenes exported as .mb files are not compatible with earlier versions of Maya.
Default file extensions

When on (default), exports the file with the extension for the selected File type.

Include Options

Include these inputs

You can enable/disable export of these specific node types by turning on or off the following:

  • History
  • Channels
  • Expressions
  • Constraints
Include Texture Info

When on, texture images are included in the export.

Reference Options


Locks the file reference when it is loaded into the scene. That is, all of the nodes and attributes for a selected file reference are locked so they cannot be accidentally modified. A lock icon appears beside the listed file reference within the Reference Editor to indicate the locked status.


Specifies whether the referenced objects are grouped under a single transform when you reference the file. Grouping makes it easier to work on the nodes of imported objects. The default is off.

Group Name

Specifies a name for the grouped references. The reference group appears in the Outliner by the this name.


When used with the Group option, groups the contents of the referenced file under a locator, annotated with the reference node name. The reference node has a message connection to the locator’s transform. If a Group Name is specified, the locator appears in the Outliner by this name.

Shared Reference Options

Shared Nodes

Sets whether anything will be shared between nodes, be it display layers, shading networks or render layers. If you have a render layer, display layer, or shading network in a referenced file that has the same name as the one in the referencing file, turning this option on allows these nodes to be shared between the referencing and referenced file.

For shared display layers, merging is decided based on name alone. If both layers have the same name, and shared display layers is turned on, the contents are merged.

For shared shading networks, merging is done only if the node names and types are the same.

Display Layers

When on, display layers associated with the referenced child scene are integrated into the parent scene.

See Shared display layers.

Shading Networks

When on, the shading networks from the referenced scene are combined with those in the current scene (including those of any references). This avoids duplicate shading networks when you want the same ones used throughout your scene, including the reference.

See File referencing and shading.

Render Layers

When the reference is created, the render layers associated with the child scene are integrated into the parent scene.

You can choose to use the render layer by Name or by Number to determine which render layers are merged. If a render layer name or ID already exists in the parent scene, any objects assigned to a render layer with the same name or ID in a child scene are added to the referencing scene’s render layer when they are referenced.

Namespace Options

Use namespaces

When you reference or import a scene with Use namespaces on, Maya creates a new namespace that contains the referenced data. Turning on Use namespaces ensures that all nodes are uniquely named. See What are namespaces? and Create namespaces when referencing or importing.


Before referencing a file, make sure that the renaming prefix contains no invalid characters.

The currently set namespace is indicated in the Namespace Options section by the icon. Namespaces that are parents of the currently set namespace are indicated by an icon. You can set the current namespace in the Namespace Editor by clicking Set Current. See Namespace Editor Overview and Edit namespaces.

Namespaces do not effect selection, the DAG, the Dependency Graph, or any other aspect of Maya.

Use selected namespace as parent and add new namespace (file name)

Specifies that the referenced file name is added to the beginning of object namespace.

For example, if you are referencing or importing a scene named foo.ma that contains an object named ball, its namespace is foo:ball.

Use selected namespace as parent and add new namespace string:

Specifies that a text string is added to the beginning of the object namespace. Type the string in the field that appears.

Merge into selected namespace and rename incoming objects that match

Merges the object's namespace wih an existing, selected namespace.

If duplicate namespaces occur, the namespaces are merged and duplicate object names are incrementally suffixed with a number. Use this option to avoid an accumulation of new namespaces each time your referenced or imported objects have the same namespace.

File Type Specific Options

Use full names for attributes on nodes

Lets you toggle whether to use full names.


When you export a selection, in addition to the selected nodes themselves, the following associated nodes are also exported:

  • parents of selected nodes
  • blind data template nodes
  • light linker nodes

Related topics

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