Daily #7: MEL Basics

Following on yesterday’s introduction to working with Maya, I focused on getting a quick feel for how Maya’s scripting language, MEL (Maya Embedded Language), works. I used a tutorial that covered the basics of syntax and manipulating geometry. Overall it felt very similar to Houdini’s HScript and was easy to follow. It was interesting to learn that Maya’s Python API mimics MEL almost identically (from a command standpoint), so it isn’t clear whether there’s any immediate benefit to using MEL over Python. The only benefit seems to be that Maya can echo back all user actions as MEL commands giving a clear indication of what’s going on in the background. Overall, the MEL syntax and style wasn’t too hard to understand, so digging through legacy MEL scripts shouldn’t be too difficult.