How do I play the even the simplest animation from a maya file?

Hi! So I cant even get the simplest animation to play! I made a simple animation of a ball moving up, from frames 1 to 30 in a maya file, which I imported into my unity scene.

I tried making the animation "automatically play" as an idle animation, and also tried using a script that should have triggered the animation upon colliding with it.

Can someone tell me something im missing, or simply walk me through the steps that SHOULD work to getting an animation to work at all? Thanks!

You need to use Bone-based animations - that's currently the only thing that Unity can read. See Importing Objects from Maya.

Yes, elbon96 is right, I forgot about that - but you can use IPO animation, if you manually export a .FBX file from Maya, then import the asset into Unity. If you use Unity to do the exporting, it doesn't export IPOs.

Here's a thread about IPOs (and Blender): Unity and Blender Importing

What do you get when you press "play"? Your object just doesn't move?

Maybe animation is to short and it's not looped so you fail to see the first second or something like that?

Yeah, Unity doesn't support any deformations that I know of. You can animate the ball's translation/position as well as rotation and scale in any modeling software, but these do not move vertices and are general object movements any other animation require bones. There might be some scripts hanging around somewhere that could change this, that would be nice.