Eclipse and Maya 2012


I have experience creating tools for Maya and Motionbuilder and would like to move up to a robust IDE like Eclipse. I’ve found some pretty good documentation for setting this up.

Unfortunately, being a noob, I’ve run into a couple of snags.

  1. I’m unclear how to extrapolate these to work with Maya 2012? Does anyone know of any Maya 2012 documentation for this or have any advice?

  2. The .mel editor seems to work only with Eclipse versions earlier than 3.5. I’m thinking of rolling back to an earlier version of Eclipse, but would like to use the current version if possible.

Much thanks,


As the author of the MayaEclipse Editor, what is the problem you are having? There really is no difference getting it to work with versions of Maya. Yes, you do need the latest Eclipse (Indigo). I’ve even made a replacement for the mel plugin that hasn’t been updated in years so that it now works with the latest Eclipse.


Thanks for the prompt response.

I’ve attached a screenshot. Not sure if it’s helpful, but this looks like the same issue a fellow had noted on highend.3d.

With a python script, I just opened it and everything seems to work.

When I open a .mel script, the screenshot is what I see.

Much thanks!



Just so I’m clear, which Eclipse mel plugin are you trying to make work?



Is the one I’m trying to use out of date?


Ya, that’s what I figured. That plugin has not been updated for the latest Eclipse version and no longer works (it wasn’t written by me and attempts at contacting the author have not been successful). That’s why came up with an alternative:


Very cool. Thanks for all the hand-holding! I think I’m almost there.

I removed the old dk.maya3d.melEditor_0.5.0.jar file from the plugins directory.

I installed the colorer plugin as you say, via Help/Install New Software. I then placed you two files into colorer/hrc/ and restarted Eclipse.

I can now see the .mel script in the window but have no text highlighting. It acts like it doesn’t know what .mel is. On your post you say:

>>You can assign .mel file extensions to always open using the Colorer plugin as default.

I’m guessing this is what I’m not getting. ( screen grab below) How do I tell Eclipse to see this as .mel and to highlight/auto-complete?


Menu -> Preferences/General/Editors/FileAssociations

Associate *.mel to Colorer ScriptsEditor

btw, there’s no autocompletion for mel though - just syntax highlighting.


Unfortunately, *.mel doesn’t show up as an option for me. My steps were:

  1. Install Colorer.
  2. Replace common.jar and rare.scripts.ent.hrc into /colorer/hrc.
  3. Re-start Eclipse and go to Preferences>General>Editors>File Associations to associate .mel with Colorer.

I’ve attached screens showing what it look like on my end.

I’m using Eclipse Indigo 3.7.1, Is it possible that this version is too new? Or that the version of Colorer may be to blame?


Can you tell if any of the other file types that Colorer supports will show up?


Yes, It appears to work with .htm.

( see attachment )


Would I maybe be better off using an older version of Eclipse?


I think I might have forgotten how it was even supposed to work. Now that I got home I took a closer look at it. Check whether mel shows up as an option in Preferences/Colorer Library Editor/FileTypes and type mel in the “type filter text” box. If it shows up in the Rare Languages/Rare scripts/ section then it has been installed in the right place. If so, then in the Editors/File Associations just Add *.mel and associate the Colorer script editor to it.

I’m using Indigo 3.7.0 so I’m sure minor version has nothing to do with it.


Ahhh. That did it. Thanks! I really appreciate you taking the time to help me bumble through this. Truly Appreciated.

To confirm, It looks like the outline in Eclipse doesn’t support .mel.

It also looks like ‘send to Maya’ function isn’t supported with .mel either. When I send .mel to maya, maya errors as if it is interpreting .mel as Python.

All this is cool, It only encourages me to make my tools in PyMel rather than .mel ( which is the whole point). Just want to confirm the functionality with .mel.

Again much thanks in your time and attention!


Actually, the newest release of the MayaEditor plugin DOES support .mel scripts. That was one of the main updates as well as trying to reduce the machine resources being constantly used.


Hi CGJedi,

Great to see you’ve written a way to have .mel highlights inside eclipse.

I was able to follow you perfectly and all is working now.

I really want to have the same color code using colorer as the one that is used inside the maya console as I am really used to that.

Can you point us on how to change procs, variables, background and other common colors?

Thanks at all and many many thanks for your invaluable help.


The eclipse plugin uses the Colorer plugin:

In order to modify things you have to mess around in the plugins directory:
…[Eclipse directory]/plugins/net.sf.colorer_0.9.9/colorer/

There are 2 directories there: hrc/ - which holds the specific info about the mel syntax highlighting and hrd/ - which holds the color themes

First take a look at the mel syntax file …/colorer/hrc/temp/rare/scripts/mel.hrc
There you can see the keywords and what categories there are.

Then look at the color themes file …/colorer/hrd/rgb/…
This is what each keyword will use as a color. If you make a new one, make sure to list it as an option in the catalog-rgb.xml file so Eclipse knows it exists.


Many thanks for your help cgJedi,

I have recorder a video tutorial following the Christian explanation and your steps and now all is properly configured.

The tutorial installing all from scratch and obtaining same color code as in Maya console is located here.

The only thing I could not configure properly is the color code inside this symbols xxxxx

To understand what I mean with the symbol ` and the color problem take a look at the video number 6 of that series where I install and configure the colorer plugin

Kind regards.

P.S. By any chance are working your shortcuts to send code to maya via the eclipse maya editor plugin?


I’ve updated the maya Python api stub files for Maya 2014 docs. You can find them at CreativeCrash.

Also, it now includes autocompletion files for Python Commands. Like the files for the Python API, the Python Commands includes the function description, return type and list of flags. This has been generated from the 2012 documentation. Once the 2014 documentation becomes available from Autodesk, I’ll provide an autocompletion for those as well.


Here’s a cool plugin I just found - a minimap for Eclipse.