We just got in a chunk of files to bring into Betaville that were archived in, of all formats, VRML. That neat open format that never took off in the mid-90′s evidently lives on in the hearts of some. Great to see; Irritating to our [currently] delicate production pipeline.

After a nominal amount of looking around, I found that Autodesk has been shipping a converter with Maya for years (which probably hasn’t been updated much as it still generates Maya ASCII files compliant with Maya 7).

The syntax is quite simple and, unlike some other functionalities offered by Autodesk, this ‘just works’.

/Applications/Autodesk/maya2011/Maya.app/Contents/bin/wrl2ma -i my_vrml_world.wrl -o my_new_maya_scene.ma

The only problem is that this is buried in the Maya.app bundle’s bin folder, which isn’t exactly convenient to get at for every day use. Throw it onto your path, reload it, and off you go!

echo 'export PATH=/Applications/Autodesk/maya2011/Maya.app/Contents/bin/:$PATH' >> ~/.profile
source ~/.profile
wrl2ma -i my_vrml_world.wrl -o my_new_maya_scene.ma