I'm working on a project where I've been given a pre-made character to animate. I'm almost entirely new to Maya, though I have a lot of experience in Max.
When I got the character, he had a bunch of different material attributes on him, each for a different portion of the mesh. At some point I accidentally overwrote these, applying one material to the entire model. So now I need to go into a previous version of the file, grab the textures (or the attributes, I guess?) And apply them to the new version. I have no idea how to do this. Any tips for a newbie?
If I understand your issue correctly, the materials have not been overwritten at all! To me, it sounds like you have assigned a default or pre-existing material to your entire model. The materials that were previously applied to your model should be located in the Hypershade window.