.ASE and .MA file formats

Just wondered if anyone could point me in the direction of some decent documentation on the .ASE - the 3D Studio Max Ascii file and the .MA format - the Maya Ascii format. Briefly - I’m trying to write a converter from Max to Maya taking across animation and poly models. I’m hopefully going to build in some OpenGL support too, but thats a long way off!

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance,

Dave Walker


nate also has a sample program with source
available somewhere on the site listed above

Knowing the Maya format (either MA or MB) won’t help you much, because they just contain the MEL script generated by Maya for your scene. To decode them, you’ll actualy need to parse and interpret the MEL script yourself, wich means re-writing Maya.

Maybe you can use OBJ instead, wich is a very simple format.

i got a maya obj loader…
it’s in d3d though.
if you want it to port or wahtever just tell me…

i’m guessing most people write there own plugins to export data when it comes to maya instead of bothering with reversing eng teh ma format?

-akbar A.

Cheers everyone, the info should come in handy.


I have experience on creating import/export plugins for maya… and I have to say that do that only by reading the sdk it isn’t that easy. Advices:

see the .obj saver example.

You could have problems with flipped normals mainly in mirrored objects… You can set the tranform matrices to default but in this case see the opposite flag info in the docs… it could save you from pulling your hair out…