Y-Up or Z-Up

All 3D tools incorporate a 3-dimensional environment with X, Y and Z axes. The X axis directions are same in these tools, which is a horizontal line from left to right as you use the front view.

However, different 3D tools may have different directions for the Y and Z axis. Some 3D tools are Y-Up, which means the Y axis is a vertical line; while the others are Z-Up, means the Z axis is a vertical line.

3D Tools



3DS Max


Shade 13



Up Axis









iClone and 3DXchange are Z-Up based 3D tools.

The axis of iClone and 3DXchange.

After you import a model that is exported from 3DXchange to other 3D tools, most of the target 3D tools (especially the latest versions of them) will automatically convert Z-Up model to Y-Up, if they are Y-Up based, such as Maya or 3DS Max. However, some older 3D tools do not provide this automatic conversion, which will cause the model to turn over on the ground.

The Z-Up based model turns over on the ground of a Y-Up based 3D tool.

If you encounter this issue, then:

  1. Find out the Y, Z axis to determine if the target 3D tool is Y-Up or Z-Up based.
  2. Go back to 3DXchange and export the model to FBX or OBJ format.
  3. In the Export FBX... or Export OBJ... panels, you may find the Axis radio buttons.

    Target axis setting in Export FBX... panel.

    Target axis setting in Export OBJ... panel.

  4. Choose one of the radio buttons according to the base of your target 3D tools and export the model again.
  5. Import the re-exported model in your target 3D tools. The turn-over issue will be solved.