Learn MEL is a good thing now?

I saw lot of posts talking about focus on learning Python instead of MEL. But as May LT only support mel Im thinking that would be better to learn both. I’m not aware if Maya LT is used in many bigger studios, but if I get a job on a small studio then I will eventually need to learn a bit of mel I think. What do you guys think about it?

Generally the only reason to learn MEL is for maya work – and most studios that use Maya these days use Python. So as far as programming languages go, there’s really no reason to learn MEL specifically. However if you’re stuck on Maya LT, you do at least get the benefit of learning all the things Maya exposes to script: maya.cmds in Python is almost a 1:1 recreation of MEL just in a better programming language. So learning MEL is really just learning Maya and it does have value.

If you’re stuck for money, you can use Blender and Blender’s python as learning tools. It’s always valuable to be at least a little familiar with more than one tool.


A bit of mel is always helpful. There are some parts of Maya where it helps to know the syntax of mel, e.g. expressions. But it should be okay just to get a good overview and do more complex tasks in python.

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Learning a little bit of MEL isn’t a bad thing. But like others have mentioned, I recommend focusing on python since its more commonly used in the industry and you can build/program outside the Maya API. Most big studios use Maya and not Maya LT, however there are some companies that are starting to use Blender :slight_smile:

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MEL is an antiquated language but there is no harm in having a general understanding of it. Others mentioned great points about learning MEL and the benefits of learning Python. Having a basic understanding is also useful when you are trying to translate MEL into Python or are trying to understand the underlying code of a Maya command. Many studios still have old tools and scripts that may be written in MEL. You may find yourself having to debug or support MEL tools. I have also run into instances where I’ve had to make MEL calls through my Python script because the Python commands didn’t allow for the access I needed. As haggi_krey mentioned, do complex tasks in Python.

Definitely learn Python! Understanding object oriented programming is greatly beneficial.

MEL is also a Maya specific language. Python is widely used in our industry and supported across many digital content creation packages/software.