Free messiah rig.


Possibly. The rig could still do with a good washing though. I’ll try to get that done by the next update so it would be really nice if you could check back later and see if you’re still having the same problems. I want this to be rock solid so all input is very valuable.


That’s a nice setup…strange. Maybe it could be the ATI driver compatibility with messiah creeping back in again.
I have an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 512 MB RAM and messiah runs smooth with it so far.


This rig is really coming together nicely :thumbsup: I even brought my laptop to work so I could play with the rig inbetween animations :slight_smile:

One of the last things that stands out for me is having control over each finger joint. Many times I will want to rotate just the tip and not influence the second joint in order to get the pose or overlap I want. It’s a simpler setup, but effective for me.
I haven’t been able to play with the face controls yet. But I think other than that there would just be little bone influence adjustments to get nicer deformations in certain areas.

By the way, that was a quick update! You’re really on the ball :slight_smile:

PS: I hope I’m not coming off as a know-it-all and that I’m helping you more than frustrating you


Bugpoo: First of all: you’re helping me. Thank you for helping me. I have also asked you to help me so please, come with any preference you have. nothing can possibly be wrong except the rig as far as I’m concerned. So anything you say will be taken into consideration, just like anything anyone else says.

On the ATI driver: maybe, but either way I still think some of it is in the lack of cleaning, there really is quite a few bones involved.

On the fingers: I think I used the most quickly, accessible and useful way here. I think that the amount of times you need the mid joint to cuve differently to the outer joint of the fingers makes it acceptable to have this in the ‘animatables’ list rather than the viewport. The way it works you can LMB drag the fingers and have relatively normal finger movements for an FK finger setup very quickly. Then if you feel you really want the mid point move you can select it from the list. Not as intuitive for that, I agree, but makes most finger editing a little sweeter.

EDIT: utterly smashed when I wrote this but it seems moderately coherent so I’ll leave most of it.


Hi Ulven. Looking good.
Great to see this on the forum.

I feel a squashy spine mid-point have the shoulder control parented to it. It should move independent of hip and shoulder so that I can sculpt the line-of-action with it. The way Marek and I had it was that there was one “classic” heirarchy, then you could armature-activate the stretchy controls, which gave control beyond the pose already achieved. It was a good compromise, I think. Check that rig i sent you.
Beware of animation controls that force you to aniamte against other aspects of your character… this is true for the hip, mid and chest. If I have my way, I animate non-hierarchy. :wink:

I can only get them to rotate in one direction. Oddly enough, the mesh doesn’t twist up on itself…

Why are the handles not selectable? Is that intended, or just on my computer? The armatures(ie arm) also activate without opening the edit sphere, or being draggable. Do you animate with numeric? /me shudders

Like I said, looking great, just trying to understand your intentions with it.


The spine is done quite differently from the rig you sent me. I found that flexmotion was a little bit unstable and had the potential of breaking (flipping etc) so instead I used a muscle bone system for the stretchy spine. Basically this is fundamentally different from how it was done in mareks rigs although the result might seem somewhat similar. I can see why you’d want the mid-point independent. Personally I like having the FK control from there. I think the best thing would be to make a slider for it so that one can switch between having it independent or not.

Make sure you have unchecked ‘mouse tracked wheel rotation’ under Edit->Key/Frame Editing->Editsphere

Have you installed the scripts in the first post?

My intentions, ummm, are to make this rig so that it works with different animators preferences.


Marek wrote a combination of bones to curve parameters to get around that. In the meantime I’ve found that if the curve is set to rail its much more stabil. I’d be interested to see if that suffices, though I suspect not. Did you have it set to rail in your tests?

Will do, thanks.

Yeah. They’re mostly the Maks scripts, maybe there’s something up because I have some on my system already. No idea, I’ll check tomorrow when I have some more time…

I like the idea of trying to get a rig out there for everyone, but in my experience this leads to a weaker rig. Even if it means the rig isn’t for this or that character or this or that animator, I’d rather see a rig with clear, simple controls created for a certain style of animation. It’ll be that much more impressive and you’ll have a more impressive piece. (my 2 cents) - but I think its a great thing to try any way :-]


Flexmotion was indeed set to rail in my tests. Basically it was very stable by the time I had finished with it but it was still possible to make it flip rather unhelpfully and I didn’t want anything in the rig that would potentially break just because the pose is a little extreme.
So the verdict was that it was “not stable enough” in the end and I changed it to something that was.

Rigging something that only works one way is easy enough. I’ll be working with different animators who has different needs at different times so therefore it’s better for me to anticipate these needs in the rig. Whether or not it’s impressive is, well, less important to me. As I said I am no rigger, there is no ‘pride’ in this for me. I think the rig is getting pretty robust now and I think the controls are pretty easy to deal with. I’d like to make more use of the visibility options for the armatures so the IK/FK switch is more like how it’s natural to work with the different modes. The point of this rig should be that:

  1. it’s easy and quick to animate with.
  2. it doesn’t break even in extreme poses.
  3. different animators preferences are catered for.


I’d have to agree with dobermunk here.

Artists do have their preferences but . . . too many preferenes being catered too cause a rig to become so complex that performance and practicality go out the window. . . that they just don’t perform optimally at anything because slight compromises had to be made for each preference.


I see your point, but, has that become an issue with this rig?
I think once I clean this up a bit more performance should be more than decent. Both of my computers are fairly old (4 and 2 year olds) and it’s not much of a struggle for me at the moment.
In terms of it’s use, I’ve animated with it a little bit here today and I found I generally chose my preferred method of animation first then used that throughout. All of the controls I used were fairly straight forward in their use and I was able to get him running and hopping along fairly quickly. I sent it off to one of my collegues and even though it was the first time he used the rig he said he was quickly able to make a little walkcycle and get things moving. That means it’s still quite intuitive. I’d like to make it even more intuitive.


Its not BAD. But I think David and I are both used to Marek’s amazing work. The characters just kind of melted into position. Freaky cool.


Really nice work here on the rig. Shows the possibilities of messiah when someone who is so new to it can rig something this powerful. I’m just starting up work on my short for Animation Mentor and am about to start rigging and ended up going a similar direction as you with the spine. Flexmotion seems powerful (judging especially by Marek’s demo reel) but I can’t get it to work as well on my own. So like you I went the muscle bone route. Definitely not as slick, but better then nothing.

For those who are lucky enough to work with a Marek rig, can you offer any insight on setup and how smoothly they work? Would love one day to disect one of his rigs but for now am at least happy I can do so much with messiah.


No Fault: Doesn’t AM give you guys free rigs to animate your shorts with? I’d imagine the extra modeling, rigging would take time away from your short. A few people here at work were/are in AM and they said the rigs are pretty sweet.


Don’t want to take this thread off topic but in a nutshell, the AM rigs are great but I wish to do my short in messiah as I can animate waaaay quicker in it. Normally I wouldn’t do something this crazy but I have about 5 weeks until next quarter starts and have to start animating so I figure I should be ok. Will be starting up a progress thread here in the forum in the next few weeks when I am out of layout. You can see some of my layout on my blog (

Once again, so great of Ulven to start this thread and post up the rig. Love seeing how someone else attacks and solves a problem. Will definitely do the same once my short is done. Now if only we could convince Marek to share one of his crazy cool rigs, or even a simple version. (I know chances are small of that due to him earning dinero from his amazing skills, but I have to bug. :smiley: )


I’m just so thrilled that people are using Messiah again. There are so many times when I feel like a lone wolf. :-/ Can’t wait to see what you do My Fault.


Best of luck on your short My Fault :slight_smile: Looking forward to see your progress, and thanks to Ulven for the cool rig and kicking up some dust around here!

Dobermunk posted Mak’s face rig a while ago:


@Ulven: please don’t take my comments as negative. I’m just trying to save some pain, at least from what experience has led me to anticipate. I thjin k its great that your working on your rig publicly here and I’l ltry to manage the time to test it and give my feedback! (Even if its grumbled old-fart warnings :wink: )
Animating with it yourself is the best feedback for assessing user feedback. Keep the updates coming!

@Bugpoo: Not just the facial rig… here’s the the whole kit’n’kaboodle. The IRC guys got it first… Here are videos.

@Wegg: whatchoo talkin’bout!? “Again.” messiah users like to get buried now and again, then rise from the grave, shitshower and shave… err… just look at the programmers :wink:

@MyFault: I added a comment at your blog. Looks like a great project.


Good luck on your short My Fault!

dobermunk: Oh I take no offence by your remarks, I find them very useful indeed. It’s nice of you to share your experience with me, you’ve certainly been animating for longer than I have (in fact so have most of you) so I’m trying to benefit from as much of that experience as I can. All input is valuable input.


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