Opening Maya projects from a newer version in older versions.

16thJan. × ’10

Often times I find that clients or co-workers are using older versions of Maya software which can create a headache at time of delivery.  Here’s a quick tip to “downgrade” the Maya scene file.

For example:  I have a Maya 2009 project that needs to work in Maya 2008.  It uses nCloth which was available in 2008 so we are golden there.

  • Save the Maya 2009 scene file as a .MA (Maya Ascii file format)
  • Open it in any text editor and make sure it’s in plain text format.
  • Find the lines of code that reference the Maya version number like this:

//Maya ASCII 2009 scene
//Name: name of maya scene.ma
//Last modified: Sat, Jan 16, 2010 1:12:40 PM
//Codeset: UTF-8
requires maya "2009";

  • And simply comment out the lines at the beginning of the file by adding two slashes “//”:


//Maya ASCII 2009 scene
//Name: name of maya scene.ma
//Last modified: Sat, Jan 16, 2010 1:12:40 PM
//Codeset: UTF-8
//requires maya "2009";

There is a new method since the Maya 2008 release (I think that’s when they started this). If you click on File > Open Scene > Option Box, you’ll see a little checkbox to “ignore version“. Much easier this way.

NOTE: If you are using nodes that are exclusive to a new release, this will not work or at least the exclusive nodes will not import.  That will require a little trial and error.

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