So, Maya is a piece of 3D design software. Like most major software packages, it have its own file format. The file is plain text, which is nice, but even so there are no converters for it ANYWHERE (that I could find). If you want to get geometry out, you have to do it through the (proprietary) Maya software interface. I don’t own Maya, and Autodesk doesn’t provide any stand-alone viewers, let alone a file convertor. So, basically, if you’re trying to use .ma files, and you don’t have access to Maya, you’re out of luck.
Except for me, because I’m a wizard or something (see the blog title). Here’s a python script I wrote to rip vertex positions out of .ma files and dump them into a .obj file (which just about any other software package should be able to import). It’s kludgy and terrible, but it worked for the file I needed it for. If it will work for you as well, great. I’d love to see someone knock this into a real Blender file importer for .ma files, but it hasn’t been done so far, so I’m not holding my breath.
The code is all original to me, and is released to the public domain, no rights reserved.