View Full Version : How to start out with the Maya API?

09-29-2008, 06:27 AM
I need a custom utility node and i've been looking in the devkit/plug-ins examples.
I checked the help file, but there is nothing about this. I wrote only a few mel scripts, I am not really a programmer. I want to try to make some custom nodes, but I am totally lost.

Can you explain to me a few things...like how to start everything? After this, I will ask again

09-29-2008, 07:15 AM
as a starting point this is very good:


and when you are addicted get this one


by then you probably realize that a general book on c++ might be a good idea, but there are also some free online resources you can check out:

Hope that helps, there is probably no easy answer to this as c++ can be quite challenging for non-programmers ( like me ). Maybe looking at python is worthwhile since you can skip this compiling thing.

09-29-2008, 08:37 AM
Maybe looking at python is worthwhile since you can skip this compiling thing.

Thanks for the links. I know I should know C++ first, and at some extend I know a little.
My first intend was to go with mel scripting, but looks like scripting is not enough.

Robert Bateman
09-29-2008, 10:20 AM
Scripting is a pretty good starting point, it's actually impossible to write C++ plug-ins without it... (It's also a lot more powerful than you might think). The basic order of learning the API should be:

* learn a bit of C++
* Write an exporter (see http://www.robthebloke.org/research/index.htm) which will help you understand how the data is layed out in Maya. (use the File Translator Plugin example as a starting point....)
* Write some custom nodes (see http://www.robthebloke.org/mayaapi.html)

I've also got some half finished notes on mel, http://www.robthebloke.org/mel/index.html but some of the pages are a bit screwed. Should sort them out one day....

10-02-2008, 01:39 AM
There are plenty of great examples lying around in mayas install dir under devkit/plugins, and getting to know them is a great way to start. That, and robs site was plenty enough for me, as well as David Gould's books.

10-02-2008, 12:39 PM
Got an email yesterday at work about a new tutorial video on programming the Maya API. I haven't gone through it myself but it looks pretty useful.

I'm pretty sure that these will work for everyone, and not just those on subscription or whatever...

Maya dev center page (http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=9469002)

DevTV: Introduction to Maya Dependency Graph Programming (http://download.autodesk.com/media/adn/DevTV_Introduction_to_Maya_Dependency_Graph_Programming/DevTV%20-%20Introduction%20to%20Maya%20Dependency%20Graph%20Programming.html)

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