Posted by STLR, 15 November 2012 2:05 pm
I began to make the switch from MEL to Python a couple of years ago. It was actually a slow and somewhat painful process. I had been using MEL for roughly a decade, so any time I had to write script it was often just easier (and much faster) to fall back on what I knew. I'll admit that I'm kind of old and lazy and you know what they say about teaching an old (and lazy) dog new tricks. Luckily, I did finally overcome my laziness (although I'm still fighting the old part) and I now feel pretty comfortable with Python.
One of the biggest obstacles for me when taking the plunge was finding good learning resources. I of course bought a couple of general Python reference manuals and learning books, but these were not at all specific to Maya, not to mention the Maya API, PyMEL, QT, etc... I was also able to cobble together some decent example scripts as well as a useful blog post here and there, but that took time. Eventually I got to the point where I could finally write a complete script from beginning to end while leaning on the various resources I’d pooled together.
After trudging my way through this slow learning process, I was very happy to learn that someone has finally written a Maya specific Python book. Back last spring at GDC I met Ryan Trowbridge who has been a character TD at Naughty Dog for a number of years. He was telling me about a book that he had written that was all about Python in Maya. I finally got around to checking it out over the last few weeks. I’ve had some much needed down time lately and I’ve been meaning to beef up on my Python skills for a while now anyway. So as a refresher I went through the first few chapters of his book and it is indeed incredibly useful. I just wish I’d had it 2-3 years ago :( But better late than never :)
So if you know Maya and maybe some MEL but you’ve been meaning to start learning Python and keep putting it off, or if you already know some Python but have been wanting to brush up on some details, or if you know Python fairly well but are not quite sure how it relates to Maya, then I highly recommend investing in this handy resource.
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