This is a common issue to face while working with a Maya file. Every time Autodesk does an update to their software, they inevitably change the code a bit. The trick with going backwards in Maya versions is figuring out what they changed.
The Good News: It’s usually not that complicated.
The Bad News: You’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and dig into the text file. To edit the text you can either download a text editor like jEdit or, you can go ahead and open the .ma file right in Maya’s script editor (you’ll need an .ma file by the way.)
Step 1: We need to find out what changed from this version of Maya to the next. If you have both versions, you can look at the text side by side.
In Maya 2016, a few things changed. But we’re going to focus on one line of text that changed throughout the file. That new line looks something like this:
rename -uid “0A40538E-4A5E-42CC-0A15-E1B21645A549”;
The problem here is that 2016 has placed this line of code under every createNode command in the file. And there are a lot of those! So, instead of removing this line, we’re going to comment it out. And do to this quickly, you can hit the ctr + f hotkey.
In the Find: bar, type rename
Replace with: bar, type //
Then, hit Replace All
This is going to turn each of these rename lines into a comment and Maya will ignore it. Awesome!
Step 2: Importing.
You’re going to want to import the file and make sure Ignore Version is checked in your preferences. Go to Windows > Preferences > File/Projects and find the Ignore Versions checkbox.
And import the file!
File > Import
You’ll probably see a few errors. In some cases, that might be a problem, but in my testing, it’s all been OK so far.
Step 3: Cleanup time.
You should now have your file imported correctly into 2015. But you now have a bit of a mess on your hands. All the items in the file will likely have the file name placed in front of them. Like the example below:
In our case, this can be changed very easily. We just need to search and replace all these names. Easy!
We’re going to search for “Craig_v1_06_” and replace it with ”.
maya will take our ” as an empty space and will delete the searched for name. Woo!
And that’s it! Time to get back to the important stuff – animation!
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