Object and File naming conventions


Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone can share a good naming convention for files and scene object.

Currently I create a project e.g. “Red cup” and within the scenes folder also create a texturing folder where my substance file will live, and sometimes a ZBrush folder for the ZBrush file.

I also name every object in my maya scene with the prefix red cup ( as in this example) and a suffix like _geo _grp etc. If I have a handle group every object in that group will be named “red cup: handle” then the object name.

I would love to hear what other people are doing to get some better ideas.


dont use spaces in your name… redcup or redCup would do it…
spaces are evil…


Why would you use the scene’s name in all of your objects, though? That seems like a huge waste of time. Typing or even copy-pasting “RedCup” everywhere seems pointless.

If you simply import your project, it can automatically apply the scene’s name to all nodes for you, should you ever need more distinct naming conventions. All the time you might spend on nameology manually is wasted.




Don’t let people tell you not to use spaces in filenames. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them in 2018 (or 2008, for that matter). It’s a mindset from people who grew up with badly-written shell scripts and it’s a decades-out-of-date idea.

ID is correct that it’s pointless to prefix every object like that. It’ll just make your scene ugly and hard to read. If you reference the files later on Maya will namespace them for you.

Naming is a matter of taste. I really hate “grp”, “jnt”-style names where people remove all the vowels from a word, since it’s just ugly to look at. I use eg. “Joint_Elbow_Left” for joints. (I might switch to _L and _R, just because that’s what Maya’s tools like to default to so I don’t have to fiddle with options, but I find it a bit uglier.) I don’t use a suffix like _Group for organizational groups, since I don’t find any value in it and it just clutters the outliner.


Thanks for the replies everyone, think I have a much better understanding of naming conventions now.


xgen does not work with spaces in the name…
also other plugins coming from linux…


No software that can’t handle a space in 2018 can be taken seriously. File bugs, but don’t tell people to use filenames like we’re stuck in the 90s…


tell that your TD…


Use workarounds for the broken software you’re actually using. 99.9% of software handles spaces just fine.


*xgen does not work.

Joking. I just found it pathetic for what I needed it for, populating vegetation and scenery. Of course other people use it for hair and scenery just fine, I just like to pick on Xgen when possible because it’s got a stupid name.


Xgen can do neat things, but the “sidecar” design is awful. Why is there one single random Maya feature that puts its data in an external file instead of in the scene like everything else? It’s a complete nightmare for referencing assets and makes an utter mess of asset directories. It’s high on the list of “well-intentioned horrible ideas”.


Spaces in names is a bad idea even in 2018. The year just has begun but I already have a huge headache trying to make a patch for a script to handle spaces in folder names. And it was quite tricky.
Sure you can use spaces if you want, the software and OS will allow you to do it, but the advantages of using spaces compared to potential problems you may get in in future are miniature.

What I have learned for years in CG is: do not use spaces or non-English characters in names and do not assign materials to faces in Maya.


and its the only way to get huge stuff done… without those sidecar files you simply cant work in a heavy TD environment…
everything has to renderable without maya and in a procedural way… studios does use the old xgen cause they need those sidecar files and dont use the new interactive integrated one…
you dont reference the xgen file into an other maya file… you use the delta xgen file todo that…


I’m sorry, but that’s all complete nonsense. Spaces are fine. If your scripts can’t handle spaces, that’s your fault, not the space’s fault.


I would keep my eye on someone who handed me files with spaces in the names.