Moving from Maya to Blender

I’m a Noob though quite a while ago I did some months of training on 3DS Max. Several years ago I directed a project that was produced in Maya. Now I want to produce a Virtual World and Games (both probably in 2D), but I want to be able to have people take assets from the 22 minute show done in Maya and render both reference stills and animation…as well as possibly using a 2D shader to create assets for the new work.

I’ve had a lot of problems just opening Maya files since they were originally on a server and now are on my computer locally. I’m guessing that I’ll have to figure out the problem before I even try to move things into Blender. So I guess there are two questions:

  1. Is there an easy way to setup Maya so that it recognizes all the connected files when they are NOT in the same file structure the were originally saved to? I still have the basic file structure, but they were originally on a server drive “e:” - is there a way of fooling Maya into thinking that they are in the right place?

  2. What is the best way/workflow to move assets including models, rigged characters and animation from Maya to Blender. Is there anyway to find someone here on the forums that could help me actually get this done?

Thanks in advance for any help.