Maya C++ API

The Autodesk Maya c++ API, or Application Programming Interface is a necessary step in plug-in development, because the programming language of c++ needs to communicate its code through Mayas object/function hierarchy, which is not the same as that of c++. The main difference is that Maya differentiates objects and methods, whereas C++ works with them in the same classes. Click here for a overview of Maya Class Hierarchy.(ctrl + scroll to zoom in). Maya classes are separated into function classes and object classes, instead of mixing the data and the functions in the same class. Although the function class mostly mimics the object class, there are conventions here that make it all- important to learn how these classes differ from regular object- oriented programming.

Refer to for in -depth information about the c++ language. On this page the focus is the Maya API, and a good place to start would therefore be Autodesks Maya API White paper, which can be found here.

Autodesk Maya has its own scripting language called MEL(Maya embedded language). With this scripting language you can access all the functionality of the Maya software. But if you wish to extend that functionality, to add your own nodes or custom elements you can use the C++ API. The dependency graph is the heart of Autodesk Maya, and there you can implement any kind of functionality you desire.