maya Getting started with maya Installation


Maya supports 3 main programming environments. Each has different setup requirements.


MEL scripting language is included with the Maya application. Enabled by default, users can test MEL in the script listener window in a running copy of Maya.

MEL files are text files with the extension .mel. They can be loaded into a running Maya session using the source command in the listener or in another MEL script. Maya maintains a list of source directories and will search for a requested MEL script in all directories until it finds an appropriately named file.

There are number of methods for setting up the script path; see the Autodesk documentation for more details.


Maya includes an embedded Python intepreter. MEL commands are available from Python in the maya.cmds Python module, so a command like polyCube -n "new_cube" is available in Python as maya.cmds.polyCube(n='new_cube'). The listener window includes a Python tab which allows users to enter Python commands interactively.

Maya python can import modules using the python import directive. Maya will look for Python files in a number of locations, configured in the Maya application, using environment variable or amaya.env file. The Autodesk documentation covers the basics of placing python files where Maya can see and import them.


Maya exposes its API to C++. Developers can compile plugins which Maya will recognize at startup.

Developing C++ plugins for Maya requires the Maya Devkit. Download the version appropriate to your platform and follow the included instructions to set up the build environment.