2. No. Standalone takes in scene description in .mi format. Use Maya's "render -r mi" to convert ma/mb to mi. This doesn't use a Maya license, but does need to verify Maya is installed somewhere in the network. Also, if you check out our new script for using standalone, a lot of the work for converting to mi is handled for you. See the sticky post for this at the top of the Maya sub forum under application specific.
3. This depends on the shaders used by the plugins. If you move the shaders used into the appropriate locations searched by mr standalone, it should be able to work fine.
4. One standalone license per machine for AD mr standalone 2012. Please double check with Autodesk on that.
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