Animation Mentor Support Center

Maya file has an unusually large file size, takes a long time to start, or won't open

This is most commonly caused by the referenced rigs or objects in the scene becoming corrupted with faceskincluster edits. These edits are errors that get created in a few different ways, such as by accidentally deleting the controls on a rig and then hitting the undo key.

These edits can add thousands of lines of code to the scene file, causing Maya to take much longer to open the file and largely increasing the file size. Depending on how extensive the edits are through the scene, the file could take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours to open.

Fixing the Maya file is a fairly simple process, although it can be time consuming. You will need to use Maya's ATOM tool which will allow you to transfer animation from one rig to another. You can find a tutorial on how to use ATOM here: "How can I transfer animation from one rig to another"

  1. First find out if the file is corrupted or not. The quickest way to tell if your shot has faceskincluster edits is to open up the .ma Maya file in a text editor, such as Notepad on PCs or TextEdit on Macs. Once the file is open, do a search for "faceskincluster" without the quotations. If you find any matches, the file is corrupted.

  2. Open the corrupted file in Maya. This may take a long time and may require you to leave it overnight but is should open eventually.

    Another option to open the file is to run Maya, go to File, then click on the options box next to Open Scene. In the options, change the Referencing option to "Load No References". This will cause your file to open with all your references unloaded.

  3. Once the file is open, go to "File > Reference Editor".

  4. Determine which reference is corrupted by:

    1. Selecting a loaded reference.

    2. Going to “File > List Reference Edits...” in the Reference Editor window.

    3. In the window that pops up, look for any faceskincluster edits.

    4. Repeat for all loaded references.

  5. For each reference you find that had faceskincluster edits, you will need to:

    1. Select the reference in the Reference Editor.

    2. Go to “Reference > Duplicate Reference”.

    3. Transfer the animation from the old reference to the newly created one using ATOM.

    4. Uncheck the old reference to unload it from the scene. You can remove the old reference after you've double checked that everything is in place.

Once you have unloaded or removed the corrupted references, your scene should be all fixed and will open properly.

One thing to keep in mind is if you have constraints set up in your scene, they may need to be rebuilt as the referenced files will have changed. While simple constraints won't take too long, if you have a complex constraint setup, you may need to bake out the constraints before removing the old references.

If the file won't open even after a full day, or there is a complex constraint system that you can't remake, there are a couple of other ways to try and fix the issue. However they can be more time consuming and are not quite as reliable. You can find them here:



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