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Easily Strip Out Plug-in Info from Maya Scenes

If you have a lot of plug-ins installed, you know that they can make it a pain to hand off files to other people. Since I generally sell components of my 3D illustration as stock after I complete them, it’s important to make clean assets for sale. While you can manually strip out plug-in data from Maya ASCII files, this is time consuming and there’s a much easier way to do it. Keep a copy of Maya around that has no plug-ins installed or at least no copy of the plug-in you want to strip out installed. When you open a Maya ASCII scene in that copy of Maya, it will fail to recognize nodes and data that call that plug-in so using the Optimize Scene Size dialog with “Remove Unused Nodes” will strip out those parts, leaving a cleaned file on save.

If you’re using Maya 2013 and above, you also have to worry about the new “-ch ####” data that breaks backwards compatibility, so I’m using my Automator action that strips out that data with sed and saves a “_2012_compatible” (and earlier) version. With those two techniques in mind, watch me clean all the Maxwell plug-in info from a Maya 2013 file and open it flawlessly in Maya 2010:

V-Ray is loading because it’s auto-loaded at startup.

If you’ve read my 101 Autodesk Maya Tips ebook, you might have figured out how to do this from my tip on using Optimize Scene Size and Maya ASCII scenes instead of Maya binary. /end shameless plug.

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