View Full Version : Learning MEL

11 November 2003, 05:17 PM
Couldn't find any information regarding this when searchin this foirum, even though I feel i'm not the only one that's been asking this question.

Anyway... Where do i start learning MEL? Buy a book? Tutorials? How did you guys start?



11 November 2003, 07:32 AM
I'm currently learning from a book called "Complete Maya Programming" by David Gould. That covers the API and MEL.
In addition I use already existing scripts to see how different things are done.
And of course, Maya's MEL reference! You can't live without that!

11 November 2003, 08:28 AM
Have you got any prior programming skills? What languages?

11 November 2003, 08:52 AM
Yeah, I have a degree in software engineering and have worked as a developer for 3 years now..
I know C/C++ mainly, but can also get by on evarious other languages...

To be honest, MEL as such doesn't require much knowledge of programming. I think the most benefit you get from knowing how to progam when learning MEL is what I call "programmer mentality". That is how one approaches and solves a problem in code. Anyone can learn it, and eventually it just comes to you. Essentially it's the ability to abstract real life tasks into for loops, if statements and so on.

From what I have gathered from posts here, most artists who write MEL have never programmed before in their life. So really, it's quite easy to learn :)

If you want to learn the API I would say you need to learn C++, at least the syntax etc... But I haven't gotten to the API chapter yet, so I can't elaborate on that.

11 November 2003, 09:37 AM
Thanks a lot!

I've got some basic programming knowledge like Pascal in school a few years ago as well as some basic C and PHP skills. I got the theory behind the if's and for loops...

anyway.. thanks... I'll get out and buy a book then:)

11 November 2003, 09:52 PM

If you're an experienced programmer, you can probably get what you need from "Complete Maya Programming." However, the book is more oriented toward people who are doing complex tool development and API development than to new MEL scripters. It doesn't really talk much about the practical nexus between MEL and Maya, assuming you have a good handle on that already.

If you're interested in seeing applications of how MEL can be useful in a production context as well as seeing a discussion of the language, you might want to start with MEL Scripting for Maya Animators ( first, then go on to Complete Maya Programming when you're ready to move on to a deeper understanding of MEL and the API.

Yes, I did write the book I'm recommending. :D

-- Mark

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