This page shows how to setup a connection to Zoo Tools on GitLab .

With Git access you’ll be able to access alpha tools, push requests and pull from the latest version of master between releases.

This page assumes you’ve already completed the PyCharm Install Page and read the Code Overview Page . The IDE PyCharm is optional though recommended.

We’ll also assume you are familiar with Git and how it works! 🙂



You must request git access to Zoo Tools Pro 2. Please email us if you are interested at, or contact us through the Zoo Discord Channel .



You’ll need Git installed on your machine, you can install it here .

We use to host the dev copy of Zoo Tools Pro.

Unzip the ZooTools Pro Folder
Unzip the zooToolsPro folder into a folder on your machine. This is the directory we’ll be working out of.


Git Clone The Packages
Clone the following Git directories with clone_zoo_packages.bat under the zooToolsPro folder.

You can think of these Python package repositories as Plugins or extensions for Zoo.

You’ll be asked for your gitlab password. You must have been given access to the Zoo repositories.

If you are not on Windows you’ll need to run each line in .BAT file in the command line.

Git Clone Zoo Tools Startup (Core)
Navigate into:


There you’ll see a file called clone_startup_core.bat. It contains the code:

git clone

Run the gitClone.bat and the folder zoo_tools will appear, this is our startup code.

Rename this folder to be called core.



Mark Packages As Sources in PyCharm.
Open the zootoolspro folder in PyCharm as a new window.


Set all the root folders from the package clone to be source roots.

Right-click > Mark Directory As > Source Roots

Mark Startup Core As Source in PyCharm.
In PyCharm naviagte to


Mark core as a source root.

Right-click > Mark Directory As > Source Roots

Point Zoo To The Packages
Zoo startup (core) doesn’t know how to find the package folders you’ve just git cloned.

In PyCharm navigate into the folder zootoolspro/zoo/config/env and open the file.


The paths here are likely incorrect, so replace all the bad paths


With your new paths, be sure to use forwardslashes. Eg.


Now core knows where all your packages are stored.

Optional Set Custom zoo_preferences Location
The Zoo Tools preferences are automatically created in a default location such as documents/zoo_preferences.

You can change this default location with the file preference_roots.config.

The path should already exist and contain the folder zoo_preferences Eg.

{"user_preferences": "D:/SomePath/zoo_preferences"}



This video shows how to use a Windows .BAT file to create a Zoo Dev environment and connect Maya to the Zoo Tools Pro module.

New Maya Prefs Directory
We’ll use a new Maya preferences directory so that Zoo can be run clean within it’s own environment, this keeps the dev version separated from your regular Maya environment (usually found inside documents/maya).

The folder /zootoolspro/mayaPrefs can be the new location for Maya’s preferences when you’re using Zoo Dev.

Maya .BAT To Start The Zoo Dev Environment
In the folder /zootoolspro/mayaBats you’ll edit a .BAT file (only for Windows) to start Maya and point it to Zoo.

In PyCharm edit the file Maya_2022_Zoo2_Dev.bat:

set MAYA_APP_DIR=D:\somePath\repositories\zootoolspro\mayaPrefs
set MAYA_MODULE_PATH=D:\somePath\repositories\zootoolspro\zoo\install\core\extensions\maya
call "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya2022\bin\maya.exe"

Note: Be sure that the MAYA_APP_DIR and MAYA_MODULE_PATH are valid and match your new folders.

Also check that .EXE path links to where your Maya.EXE is actually installed.

When the .BAT file is run Maya will use the new custom preferences location for it’s prefs, rather than using the default location documents/maya preferences.



Create Desktop Icon
To create a desktop icon Right-click the .BAT file and click on create shortcut.

Copy this shortcut to the desktop and rename it nicely.

Right-Click on the icon and change it’s image by clicking on Change Icon
Add the line


Or use the full path to your .EXE. Icons should appear and select one.

You can run this icon to load the new Maya Environment copy of Dev Zoo Tools Pro.



This video shows how you can create branches in PyCharm so you’re not working on master.

You’ll also see how to commit, push and pull from/to

Note that the dev copy can break more than the official release versions of Zoo, we are working on it live! Keep in touch with us on the Zoo Discord or via email in case of issues and unexpected errors.

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