NXT can easily extended to better meet a user's/studio's needs. In this section you will find examples of how to use NXT's configuration and plugin system.

If you're looking for a quick test and not trying to dive too deep, we have an almost drag and drop example Maya context here.

Simple Remote Context

In Maya simply navigate to the nxt menu and select "Create Maya Context". You'll be prompted to enter a name, the name you enter will be how you call your custom Maya context. For more on using custom contexts see here.

In depth explanations:

Config dir

Custom configurations are graphs and code that extends or alters the functionality of nxt. Cofigs are not to be confused with preferences which are solely UX related.

To add a config there are two approaches, both of which are compatible with eachother.

  1. Local config

  2. Config directory location: ~/nxt/config/<major_api_version>

2- Site config

  • Site config directory can be set via an environment variable. NXT_SITE_DIR=/path/to/site_config

Inside the config dir you'll need a directory called plugins. So for example if you're using API v0.1.2 your local config plugins dir would be: ~/nxt/config/0/plugins


Any .py files inside your plugin dir(s) will automatically be imported during nxt startup.

Creating Custom Contexts (Automatically)

If you're looking to create a context for an arbitrary Python interpreter you'll want to use our create context function.


You will need to create your own context_graph see below for how to do that.

import nxt

Creating Custom Contexts (Manually)

It is possible to execute graphs in "remote contexts," for example it one may want to execute a graph in a headless Maya session. These remote contexts can easilly be configured by users and TDs, this section will provide some examples on how to go about writing your own custom context plugin.

Below is an exmaple of creating a custom Maya context. This code is an example to get you started, its not the only way to do things.

Files we'll be creating:

   |_ my_custom_contexts.py
   |_ maya_2020_context.nxt


The following example is for Maya 2020 running on Windows.

The two imports from nxt that you'll need are the RemoteContext class and register_context function. The first arg in RemoteContexts is the context name, this will be used by users to call your context. Next we have the context executable, this must be a python (currently only Python 2.7) executable. And finally the path to your context graph.

# Builtin
import os
# External
from nxt.remote.contexts import RemoteContext, register_context
# Maya 2020
maya2020_name = 'maya2020'
maya2020_exe = 'C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2020/bin/mayapy.exe'
maya2020_graph = os.path.abspath(os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__),
maya_2020_context = RemoteContext(maya2020_name, maya2020_exe, maya2020_graph)


Now to write your context graph.

1) Create an nxt graph and make sure to add the following reference layer:

"references": [


To add a layer like this (using the env var) right click on your layer in the layer manager and select Reference Builtin Graph

2) On the / node add an attr called maya_inst_name and set its value to nxt

3) Also on the / node we're going to want to write some custom code in. Add the following to the code block.

cwd = os.path.dirname(sys.executable)
python_home = os.path.abspath(os.path.join(cwd, '..', 'Python/Lib/site-packages'))
sys.path.insert(0, python_home)
from maya import standalone

This will add the Maya site-packages to your environment and import maya.standalone.

4) In the /enter/init node you'll want to add your own custom code, something like this:

STAGE.old_cwd = os.getcwd()
maya_cwd = os.path.dirname(sys.executable) 

5) In the /enter/teardown node you want to uninitialize Maya, add the following code:


Using Custom Contexts

From inside a graph

  1. Make sure your graph has this reference layer: $NXT_BUILTINS/remote_contexts.nxt

  2. Create a node, lets call it run_in_maya"

  3. Set your new node's instance path to /_remote_sub_graph

  4. Set the _context attr to the raw context name you have access to or just created.

  5. Set the _graph_path attr to the path to a graph that you wish to run in the remote context.

Note: Any other attributes on or inherited by your node /run_in_maya will be inherited by the / node of your remote graph.

From api/cli

nxt exe /path/to/graph.nxt --context maya2020


import nxt
nxt.execute_graph('/path/to/graph.nxt' context='maya2020')