Using the C++ Application in AutoDesk Maya

C++ is a general programming language that is free form, statically typed and multi paradigm. It combines low level features and high level features. This is one of the most popular scripts ever created, and Maya has a plug in that can use the C++ script instead of MEL. This script has been used for servers, embedded software, applications, system software and more. The C++ language has greatly influenced many other popular languages.

C++ in Maya

C++ can be used in Maya to do even more than before. C++ is a compatible code. Most versions are compatible with C++ but not all. A plug in wizard is need for using C++. If you do not know how to use C++ or Maya then combining the 2 can be difficult. There is not a lot of documentation about how to use C++.  Unlike other codes, there also is not a lot of example code to draw from when using C++ in Maya.  It can take a lot of trial and error to figure out how to use C++ in Maya.

Developing Tools

It is possible to easily use C++ to develop tools in Maya because at the core the program itself was created with C++.  Use C++ to develop new tools to run in Maya. These tools can be used to perform functions that you will use frequently, such as building many circles or designs. Each new function can be completely customized for your needs. Once it is produced and saved, then this increases productivity in the future, as the task is taken care of immediately (instead of painstakingly writing new script each time).

C++ Interface

The C++ interface in Maya does not contain everything that the MEL interface has. C++ is more for specific functions. Some of the functions are found in both, but choosing which one to use will depend on the situation. Having an additional option to get each job done has the flexibility that makes using Maya easy and effectively. As the user goes between the different interfaces, she will determine which script is best for each part of the project.


If you have experience with C or C++ languages and not with MEL, then using the C++ API can make using Maya much easier. However, MEL codes sand Maya itself make it very easy to use the program, and MEL script is very easy to understand and create. If you do not have experience with either scripts, then learning MEL first is recommended. Maya contains all of the commands and script needed for each command. Choose which is best, but do not rely on only that script. Being able to create functions with other script is a huge benefit of using Maya.


The C++ API does not give greater control than MEL even though it is more complex. These 2 interfaces are complementary. There are some functions that can only be accessed from MEL which are not available through the C++ API, and the same applies to the C++ API. Many times, certain tasks can only be completed by using both MEL and C++.  One important feature of C++ API is that it is possible to create nodes which cannot be done through MEL.