View Full Version : Start learning plugin development

03 March 2011, 10:41 PM
So, I feel pretty confident with mel-scripting by now and would like to start with some api development.
Some questions I'm having is wether to start with python or c++.

There are some source codes examples in the docs for c++ nodes(aswell as python)
but python doesn't need to be compiled right? And what we see here is the c++ code prior to compilation, true?

Also I guess you can come a long way with python in maya, but as for speed, that's where c++ is the obvious choice, right?

So I guess I could just aswell start learning python, and after reading Chad Vernon's introduction texts it wasn't at all as intimidating as I've always thought. There seems to be so much power in it compared to mel.

However back to the docs, I don't really understand what the .h-file is
latticeNoise.cpp -c++ file

Thanx in advance.

03 March 2011, 11:11 PM
If you dont know what a .h file is good for, I'd suggest to do the following:

- try to learn python and the use of the python maya api
- learn to use c++
- read carefully the api help docs

One problem is that you will have problems to understand the api help if you are not familiar with c++ and you need the api help to use it with python.

Python is really fine to test things or create simple nodes or create fast prototypes. As soon as it comes to a point where you need more speed you can switch to c++ and use the same approach.

03 March 2011, 08:42 AM
Tough one...Since it seems that you are not familiar with c++, the obvious answer is to tell you to use python with the api. However, if you have no need to rush things...I suggest taking some time off to learn C++ and then move on to the maya api. Plugins are mostly written in c++ for most 3D apps and like haggi said...python is good if you want to make fast prototypes. But knowing how to write production ready plugins in c++ is a very powerful skill you can acquire.

03 March 2011, 10:19 AM
Ok, thank you!
I've just began with a book on C that continues with C++ which seems to be a good introduction.
So I'm just gonna continue with C++, then get these maya api c++ books:
Complete Maya Programming: An Extensive Guide to MEL and C++ API (
Complete Maya Programming, Vol. II: An In-Depth Guide to 3D Fundamentals, Geometry, and Modeling (

And then continue with python, but once I understand C++ and the Maya API I think python will become clear. I followed an introduction to python in maya and it was really ingenious. It was a real mind opener :)

Thank you both!

03 March 2011, 02:40 PM
Any recommendations for good beginner C++ books? Not totally sure if I want to take that journey, but I'm considering it. There are lots of books on Amazon, but sometimes its nice to get someone's opinion who has applied those concepts in this industry, specifically.

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03 March 2011, 02:40 PM
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