Complete Maya Programming

Complete Maya Programming

An Extensive Guide to MEL and C++ API

1st Edition - December 19, 2002

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  • Author: David Gould
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558608351
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080502373

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Learning Maya, the world's leading 3D animation and effects package, is a challenge, especially for those who want to master Maya's versatile programming features in addition to its built-in tools. Finally, here is a practical, step-by-step guide that shows how to use Maya to its fullest potential, beginning with the basics. Readers of Complete Maya Programming will first gain a thorough understanding of Maya's inner workings, and then learn how to customize and extend Maya with scripts and plugins that take control and productivity to new levels.Users new to programming can apply Maya's easy scripting language MEL (Maya Embedded Language), while more advanced users can work with the C++ API (Application Progamming Interface). Both a fundamental tutorial for Maya beginners and a solid reference for experienced developers, Complete Maya Programming is every user's guide to Maya mastery.

Key Features

* Provides a multitude of real-world examples illustrating applications of Maya programming.
* Demonstrates how to use MEL to control Maya, customize its interface, automate procedures, and more
* Details how to use the C++ API to modify Maya functionality and develop tools and features to meet any need
* Explains when to use MEL, when to use the C++ API, and how to use them together
* Ideal for technical directors, developers, or anyone wishing to to master Maya
* Provides a storehouse of MEL scripts and C++ source code, glossary, and list of resources, available at


Technical directors who want to gain maximum control over Maya. Developers, including games, commercial, and large studio developers. Technically savvy users who want to perform simple tasks using basic programming (MEL).

Table of Contents

  • Preface
    Source Files

    1 Introduction
    1.1 Maya's Programmability
    1.2 Programming Interfaces

    2 Fundamental Maya Concepts
    2.1 Maya Architecture
    2.2 The Dependency Graph

    3 MEL
    3.1 Introduction
    3.2 The MEL Programming Language
    3.3 Scripting
    3.4 Objects
    3.5 Animation
    3.6 Graphical User Interfaces
    3.7 Expressions

    4 C++ API
    4.1 Introduction
    4.2 Fundamental Concepts
    4.3 Developing Plugins
    4.4 Commands
    4.5 Nodes
    4.6 Locators
    4.7 Manipulators
    4.8 Deformers
    4.9 Advanced C++ API

    A: Additional Resources
    B: MEL for C Programmers
    C: Further Reading

    About the Author

Product details

  • No. of pages: 528
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2002
  • Published: December 19, 2002
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Paperback ISBN: 9781558608351
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080502373

About the Author

David Gould

David A. D. Gould is an award-winning computer graphics artist and programmer with over a decade of distinguished accomplishments that span the globe. Among his diverse credits are technology development for Walt Disney Feature Animation, development of the Entropy renderer at Exluna, and 3D graphics chip design at Nvidia. He also developed Illustrate!, the leading toon and technical illustration renderer. David's filmography includes such films as The Lord of the Rings and King Kong.

Affiliations and Expertise

Weta Digital, New Zealand

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