“…I am having problems to rename all my imported game assets in Maya. No matter how many times I tried to delete and change the instance name via the channel box, it just won’t budge; there is this prefixed naming convention that just keep nesting upfront! Arrghh…”

Are you experiencing this problem too? Then, just read on!

First of all, the referred unremoveable “naming convention” that prefixed in your imported object is actually a Namespace.

What is a Namespace? In our context, Namespace, by large is a private string node that ties to a given 3D object. It can be comprehend as a unique identifier that help to differentitate objects that coincided with the same naming instances. According to the Autodesk Maya’s Documentation, Namespace was simply explained as: “a given name for a group of objects” and it does not have any dependency relationship that found in the functions of Grouping & Parenting. It is an add-on naming scheme that uses the colon (:) character to separate objects that being imported or referenced from different origins but clashed with same instance name.

In practice, there are three (3) ways to remove or rewrite the nested Namespace that tied to a particular 3D object.

Method #1 – Using the Name Space Editor

First, select the object that you would like to rename with different Namespace.

1. Go to the menu of Window > General Editors > choose Namespace Editor.

Renaming 3D Model in Autodesk Maya with Namespace Editor

2. In the Namespace Editor, you shall see several pre-existing Namespace-s. You might feel strange as you never create any of these and where would they have come from! Actually, these Namespaces were the file names of the working files that you have previously imported. Now, simply double-clicked on the Namespace that you would like to edit. There will be a nice little dialogue box emerged and you can make all the necessary changes in the given text field. Do hit the “OK” button once you are done with it and you shall see a completely updated naming convention from the Channel Box. The changes would also occur on the naming for the Shapes node as well.

Deleting Namespace in Autodesk Maya with Namespace Editor

3. Alternately, there might be a situation that you do not need a Namespace. For the sake of simplicity, you can actually choose to remove it. To do so, simply click-select on the unwanted Namespace, and hit the Delete button while you are still at the Namespace Editor. There will be another dialogue box prompted at you. Then, please choose Merge with Root and not Delete, as the Delete option will remove all the meshes that belong to the same Namespace.

Changing Namespace in Autodesk Maya with Namespace Editor

Sometimes there will be a situation that there is other deep rooted Namespace that tied to your mesh, and you would need to repeat the above Step-3 again for clearing it completely.

Move Namespace to Root in Autodesk Maya with Namespace Editor

Method #2 – Using the Hypergraph:Hierachy

Besides using the Namespace Editor, there is another shorter route for renaming or removing the Namespace of an object through the Hypergraph. First, select the object that you would like to amend, then go to Window > choose Hypergraph: Hierachy. In the window of the Hypergraph, you will see many different types of nodes here and it can be quite perplexing if you are very new to 3D and Autodesk Maya. To skip the puzzling part, just hit the keyboard shortcut key of “F” while you are in this Hypergraph window. This will help us to locate and focus on the mesh node that we are working on.

Next, simply holding down your right-mouse-button (RMB), and choose Renamefrom the sub-menu. After that, type in the required naming convention for your object via the prompted text field, then click OK and it is settled!

Renaming 3D Model in Autodesk Maya 2014 with Hypergraph Hierachy

Method #3 – Using the MEL Script

Lastly, the most straight forward and powerful approach is to use the MEL Script. To do so, select the mesh that you would like to change the Namespace, then go to Window > General Editors > choose Script Editor. Changing Object Naming in Autodesk Maya with Mel Script Editor

In the script editor, make sure you on the MEL script tab. Then, just type this expression that custom to your own context with the rename keyword into the editor (See the above figure). For instance:

rename |GA_Level_area51_section2_interior:ceilingTemp:ceiling_A “ceiling_A”;

Please do take note that you have to replace the given sample of “GA_Level…” with the existing Namespace of your own object. Then, just hit Ctrl + Enter to execute it. Should have you done it correctly without any typo mistake, the console will return the result as commented feedback.

Successful Rename Namespace in Autodesk Maya with Mel Script

That is all for the process of renaming an imported 3D mesh. I hope that you would find either one of these methods to be useful in your work.