AutoRigger and first rigging tutorial.


A genric cartoon eye rig may be something for entirely different package.

AutoRig and introducing EyeRigToons! or something like that for additional cost.

As for pose system, be great to add a motionbuilder with some pre-“open slots” or something tied to sliders…that would be great and one wouldn’t be afraid of screwing up the rig.


Thanks to Ulven & co for taking the time to code this and the plugins it uses :bowdown:

Haven’t been able to animate for a while due to various reasons, so have lost quite a bit of ground with M:S, but after buying this yesterday and having a quick play around it’s going to save a LOT of time & allow me to just worry about the anmation and not the rigging.

Only questions I have though are what’s the best way to animate with the rig ? Should I have animate immediate / immediate highlight turned on or off ? And is there any particular way the new’ish edit sphere controls should be set up for working with it ?


Thanks for buying :slight_smile:

Animate immediate/highlight doesn’t make a difference on the FK controls, only the IK controls. You can turn it on or off depending on your preference. You should animate with it in the way I showed in the videos, I.E. Dragging the end of the bones left and right, up and down based on your screen position. Everything reacts depending on where you’re looking at it from. Once you get the feel for how this works it becomes a very nice and natural way of working. (it’s more about what you see on your screen than what coordinate axis your object is currently on.)


Thanks Ulven. I’ll get round to watching the video properly at some point.


A much needed plugin for messiah! Cool! :thumbsup:


Rigging is for me the most tedious of the animation process…that’s why I really am happy to have this plugin avaliable… Thanks to the Very Useful Slugs :slight_smile:

Things I love about this rig…
1. Oh the shoulder movement(armatures)…nirvana… what I always thought the shoulder controls should be able to do… enables the animator to easily produce expressive performances…ahh!!
2. Armatures in general of course are excellent!.. Make movement of the of the spine, head, neck, etc… very intuitve… and natural…
3. Elbow control… helps to control the IK in a way that make for better movement… very good.
4. The hand sliders help you get most of the way there… then you can position the joints exactly as you need to on top of the slider animation… always in Messiah… just nice…

Things I wish the rig included…
1. Constraints for the feet, so they would not go through the floor… ( I know… I can customize… just wish it was there already :slight_smile: )
2. A make my animation awesome button… (this is a wish list… I can dream… can’t I… lol)

Thanks again to all those involved in the making of this plug… has rekindled my desire to animate… story tell…etc…



I’m about to pull the trigger on getting the AutoRigger…

One question I have - Is this rig the result of this thread:

Which I guess is a way of asking… if you have the auto-rigger, is your model going to react similar to Jeff Lew’s example in the DVDs (in which he uses Animation:Master?)

(If that makes sense…)


To put it short: yes.

AutoRigger rig uses Suricates bonecontroller plugin.


Im having a problem with all my IK controllers not working for arms and legs and the controllers being at the center of the world. :cry:


Ulven helped me see what I did wrong. What a sweet rig! One of the best rigs Ive ever seen!

Ive animated some cool rigs… even the AM ones and this one is very good. Along with Joe’s facial CD I’ll be rigging up some very fun rigs to animate with. If Ulven dosent care that I post riggged characters that were done with his auto rigger then I can share a couple of characters with this community and the 11 sec community for the messiah users to use to practicw with. I need to check with Ulven fisrt after get the rigs done.

Great job Ulven!


I don’t think you can post the rig kinda takes half the reason ppl bought it in the first place.

My wishlist would include a PREP package that you can use to animate Cartoony Eyes.
Sorta a mix of bones and nulls that you snape to your object(s) and viola… toony eyes!


I think that with the autorigger you shouldn’t post the final rig it creates since really quite a large part of the job of making an autorigger is making the rig in the first place, and it’s part of what people buy when they get the autorigger. Not trying to be a moneygrabbing bastard here but the income from this helps fund further developments here at useful slug and I wouldn’t like to have that compromised.

With regards to toony eyes and other nice squishy things, we have something entyerrlee different cooking, but… I’m afraid it’s not ready yet.


Oh I completely understand Ulven! I would have emailed you first before I posted anything. Anyway that will just keep some cool characters just for me. :smiley: Cant wait to see what you come up with for the cartoony stuff. Yeah Id like some squash and stretch in the body too so if your new thing has the same way to pose but with those features that would ROCK!


I sit patiently waiting for this particular Useful Slug tech to be finished as it is beeyootiful! :thumbsup:


AR is worth every penny!
I would have spent hours manually making a rig with what AR can do.


Hey I have juststarted to use the rig at work, (I know its been 8 months) and with my kid at home and other side (non-3D) pay projects…I am finally using it for the next two weeks …8 hrs a day and yes I LOVE THE RIG! You met all of my expectations, I was just sitting here …man its like he read my thoughts and I remember I did complain about it and you must have just checked off everything. Superb job…money well spent.


I’m very happy that you’re enjoying the rig Julez! We did in fact check off things that were requested and also I brought a lot of the things learned on Andy’s Airplanes into the rig so a lot if it was already production proven. With the latest version, even more of the things we’ve use in our productions are available to you guys and now I even use it myself a lot of the time (I used to keep to my other custom rigs most of the time).

As owners of AutoRig will have been told via email:
I am happy to announce that the latest version of AutoRig (AutoRig v2.0) is now scheduled for inclusion in the next patch of Messiah after an agreement between useful slug and pmG Worldwide. Current owners of AutoRig will in addition to the free upgrade to v2 recieve a 50% discount for our upcoming product, Walker which is due for release at the end of july/early august as a thank you for the support for development you’ve shown by buying our product.
We have tried to address most, if not all of the issues that have been put to us by our customers. Also, we have added some new features that we wanted ourselves in our animation projects.

The new features include:

  • Ribbon spine setup.
    The ribbon spine, also known as an IK on FK spine setup, is a combination of the regular
    FK spine that you are used to from the old version of autorig with the additional ability
    to move the hip, middle and top parts of the character’s spine independantly.
    |-Left mouse button will drag them independantly in screen space.
    |-Right mouse button will rotate the top and bottom on heading and pitch in parent
    coordinates, while the middle control will adjust the zscale, the “tension” of the curve.
    |-Double middle mouse button will reset the item to it’s original position and rotation.

You can see a small demo here:

  • Selection and Display additions.
    Selection of the feet’s IK goals are now made easier by having them routed out to an
    armature on the screen. LMB selects the heel, MMB selects the toeball, RMB selects the toe.
    All the bones can be switched on and off for display using the bones armature. If you add
    new bones to the rig you should add them to the Character_VisGrp_Bones group if you want them
    to take the new functionality.

You can see a small demo here:

  • SoftIK
    SoftIK is new in messiah v3.1 and is a softened IK chain to prevent IK pops. The amount of
    softening is animatable and will depend somewhat on the speed of movement as well as the size
    of the chain. It is off by default but you can enable it by dragging the softIK values in
    the Character_Rig_Behaviour slider. The soft IK is automatically stretchable so there is no
    need to add an IKTel if you use it in your own custom rigs.

You can see a small demo here:

  • Uniform scale rig
    UniformScaleRig.msa is a new script that allows you to scale a rig in messiah uniformly with a
    master null and, when run, it will go through the rig and adjust it so that bone lengths and
    position keys are correctly adjusted. When you run autorig it is run once on the master null
    of the rig, but if you want to for instance scale the upper body using a master null, you can
    do so and then run UniformScaleRig from the F5 shelf.

You can see a small demo here:


Any hints besides the obvious on what Walker will include?


Amazing stuff Ulven. SoftIK especially. Can’t wait to get into the thick of a project with some of these new goodies.


Hi Ulven, that’s great news!

Regarding the SoftIK, in what way is it different from using the EP_StretchyIK expresssion from my ExpressionPack plugin? Is SoftIK time-based (i.e. depending on the previous keyframes) ?