Behind the Project: Scripting Penguins

Introducing the MEL penguin script generator, featuring your new BFF (Best Flightless Friend), Brutus!

During their second year of the Bachelor of Art and Design degree, our students take on a two-week component called 3D Scripting: Introduction to Programming. Designed with creative types in mind, this component is a lighthearted and engaging introduction to programming using Maya’s embedded scripting language (known as MEL). 

Most of Maya's UI is coded in MEL, which is why it is essential for professional 3D Artists to have a familiarity with how it works. Exploring MEL scripting allows our students to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of Maya, which ultimately imparts to them the skills to write their own time-saving customisations.

The assessment brief is simple: Design a script which runs successfully and is cleanly coded. Beyond that, students are given complete creative freedom, and their final projects range from robot battle simulators, to dynamic dodgeball games, to dancing bunny discos and Minecraft terrain creators, to honest-to-goodness useful production tools. The potential is endless!

One of our very talented second year students took this opportunity to create a penguin generator, where you can select the name and colour of your penguin, as well as add some other delightful accessories for your new flightless bird friend...