Time to let the CAT out of the bag...


Hey Everyone,
I know my presence around here has been spotty as of late. I have been trying to eek out an existance doing freelance work and haven’t had that much time to be a presence at the forums here.

I figure with the latest version of c4d out and everyone moving towards using mocca 2 I thought i would post a freebie preactice rig using hard ik in C4D.

I have been a large proponent of pose based hard ik systems and there further development in the c4d community. Seeing as the Maya, LW, and XSI communities all have freebie rigs you can screw with i thought I would post something for our community.

I call him PracticeMan. It is a hard ik based system showing the hierarchical setup that i have developed over the last 2 years. is based on the Stray CAT system. This rig is for practice only and has no setup function. i am only posting it as a study for folks who want to get a better feel for what an industry standard rig would feel like.

It is very light and the solvers are setup to update very quickly in the viewport. It should give most folks with a decent system realtime feedback in the editor ( with the HN object turned off will be much faster).

Well enough babbling,

ladies and gentlemen I present to you,




Hey Stray, thanks I’ll check it out.
I’ve been looking for info on Stray CAT, but I couldn’t find any.
Does it still exist?


Hey Art2,
Stray CAT is kinda on the back burner at the mo. I just came up with a pretty stable ik fk switching system for it. But as it is i am still trying to get more work coming in ( there isn’t much money in rigging in c4d these days).

If i can get more work coming in and literally buy myslef more time i will develop it further and work on having a larger presence for it in the community.



Thanks Stray. Messed around with it for a few seconds and it looks very nice. Everything done in coffee eh? A lot of work went into this, thanks very much.


Pitty, well hope you’ll find the resources to develop it further in the future.
I’ll keep an eye on it.


Thanks a lot, Danny! I know from past experience you put a lot of work into your rigging.

Very generous of you :thumbsup:

Always interested in anything rig related…


Very nice rig. You’ll strike gold with this if you make it into a rig-element generator with parametric input:

  • leg/foot generator
  • spine with shoulders/neck
  • arm/hand rig generator
  • tail/wing generator

With something like that and basic input params like no of spine links, shoulder width, upper arm/forearm length, etc, people could very quickly snap together a variety of rather nice animation rigs. That would be a plug worth buying imo. best of luck with further development.


thats pretty much what the orignal StrayCAT was modules for each part that can be scaled and rotated to fit pretty much any config. hopefully in time danny will get the resorces to update it.



Tnx for sharing bud !! :wink:


thanks! It’s always great to get an idea of how things should work. (manuals tend to tell you how to do things, but often not best practices for actually doing them) :thumbsup:


hey danny long time no postie…heh heh.
not got r9 yet…but lookin good bud…:thumbsup:


Thank you very much.


Hey All,
Thanks for all the kind words. I originally came up with Stray CAT because i saw how other folks in other packages were animating and wanted to be just like them…

A quick overview of the system:

It has rotate plane solvers in the arms ( if you guys remember i originally posted one of them in the learning to walk thread a while ago.) the orientation of the knees and elbows are controlled by them. They are the red triangles in front of the legs and behind the arms.

The feet are controlled by sliders that are contained on the red boxes . It is a full reverse foot lock (also again you might remember the learning to walk post, is that one but a little better and a whole bunch more stable).There is also a floor collision on it. for those of you that aren’t into the floor collision thing just disable the coffee on the feet.

The spine is FK. Basically rotate the various boxes up and down the spine and head to get control over isolated regions along the spine. This is a little something i came up with so that various special moves can be obtained with a minimum of setup , calculations and control.The main hula hoop looking object at the waist is the global control over the upper torso. it can be rotated as well as translated.

the hands are controlled by the little hula hoops at the wrists. they contain boxes with different finger rotation functions.

The main object named “ROOT” contains the entire system and is there if you want to plant the system down anywhere you want.

That should be about it.
If you guys come up with any cool animations let me know.



Thanks for sharing.


Looks good so far - thanks for sharing!



If the problem is getting some cash while you’re developing this thing (you said there’s not much demand for C4D riggers), why not make some readymade rigs with your tools in the meantime for common applications and sell them online (maybe on Turbosquid or something).

Could be stuff like:

  • Simple biped rig and variations on it. Small cartoon biped, large cartoon biped, adult male rig, adult female rig etc

  • quadrupeds. horse, cow, sheep, dog/cat rigs etc

  • fish, snakes, reptiles with tails

  • spider, cockroach, ant rig and other bugs

  • rigs for animating products (milk carton, tree, towel/page etc… think toilet paper commercials, books that need a few turning pages, squishy detergent bottles etc)

There’s lots of stuff that can be rigged, and a lot of it falls into similar categories. Maybe you could make some rig-packs that are useful for people working on tight deadlines or something.

With the full stray CAT release, you could make a plugin that automates common rigging tasks - knee and elbow joints, spines, tails, wings, etc. You never know. The stuff you’re building might make the difference between Cinema being used for a CA production or not.


Truth be told the original stray CAT could ( with mininal modification) be transformed into a quadruped. I do have an insect leg that i created as well. I have never considered turbo squid but who knows maybe I will.

Setting up Stray CAT is pretty quick after you have done it a few times ( i am one of my biggest clients for its’ usage). It totally cuts down on the time to rig a character. I mean why reinvent the wheel.

It also plays with mocca pretty nicley if you are just doing tails and floppy bellies and such.

The ideas of a reverse foot lock as well as rotate plane solver for legs has been used in maya for quite sometime now. I really wanted what was considered industry standard working in C4D. No reason why it shouldn’t be. C4D is as viable a CA option.

now if i can just get maxon to implement a way to access class members of quaternion functions then we will be onto some XSI territory…



Very nice cheers Dan :slight_smile:


Thanks a lot for sharing this great and useful work !


Very Usefull for studying, thanks!

I like the fact that you used only three different selections of Polys for the bones, torso and right and left leg. I´m painting a vertex map for each bone. Here´s the proof, I do not need that most the time.
Why are you using splines to display the boxes for the FK-Spine? You could do that easily with the attributes of the nullobject. Or is there any other hidden advantage in that?

And I really like your setup for the feet, very nice!

I wish I could use that rig on my current character now. Oh my god, setting up myself everything will dure days or weeks for me until I got all the logic behind it. But I have to dig it.