Question: Tutorials for people that are new to rigging?


i m looking for some free rigged models in maya.


wow… what a long living thread!

I’m going to post a more detailed post on my blog later on this week, but I just wanted to let people know that I’m going to be doing a full day rigging masterclass at siggraph this year for Maya.

I’m trying to do it as a beginning-advanced level course, so there’s something there for everyone… although for beginners, I do recommend some knowledge of maya, otherwise they’ll be thuroughly confused. :slight_smile: So maybe it’s more intermediate-advanced…

But the concept is based around the fact that there are a lot of “answers” to rigging problems… fk/ik arms… stretchy backs… etc… but not much in terms of learning how to FIND the answers, or why those answers even exist. WHY is fk/ik so important? What about other types of controls? would you want them? why? why not? What exactly are we trying to DO with these controls?

So this course will cover both sides of things: First, how to determine what the rigs need to do, second how to go about figuring out the right solution, third how to impliment that solution, and forth how to deliver it to the animator.

As with my other dvds & masterclasses, it will mostly cover body mechanics, with very little skinning information (personally, I find the mechanics of how things move & how to give that control to the animator really interesting & fun to work out). It will also include somewhere around 200+ pages of documentation… and a bunch of mel scripts.

So like I said… more information will be coming in the next week or so, but thought it’d be good to get this out there. :slight_smile:



good news Jason, Is this a siggraph one as I didnt’ see your name mentioned on the autodesk masterclasses. I"ll keep an eye on your blog, but don’t know if I"ll be able to attend, I"m doing the Cartoony master classes on the Monday, and work the exhibition.


it’s the autodesk ones… I’m still working out the final details with Autodesk about everything, which is why it may not have been in the official announcement. :slight_smile:

but it looks like it’s going to be on tuesday… hopefully my kid will be born before then!! heh :slight_smile:


Sorry for being an advertising whore, but since this is related… I hope I’ll be forgiven :wink:

Hi there :wavey:

I’d like to let you all know that I’ve recently released a new videotutorial on basic head rigging.

In this 1 hour long (90MB), fully narrated, videotutorial, I’ll guide you through rigging the skull and neck areas, then move onto rigging operational jaw bone and finally I’ll rig the eyes with a bit more complex automatic eyelids system that not only allows you to make the character wink and blink, but it’ll also automatically take care of the eyelids secondary animation based on the eyes movements.

Please, take a look at the more detailed description on my site as well as the preview videos.



- loocas |


hi there

im after that very popular free rig thats floating around the net for quite some time now.
ive seen it used in many a demo reel, and would like to know the address where i can get it.
its that blue colour dude with the squarish head.

hopefully someone knows what i talking about and can pass me a link.


P.S sorry if i posted in the wrong section.




perfect! thanks.


hi am also new to rigging and i just went thru the tutorial and boy!am i a baby.
i guess i have to find out how to get the soft wear to buy,can you help,any idea at all?


Any chance you could re-upload this tutorial, I have looked everywhere for a tut and this was my best hope. Thanks in Advance.


In the meantime try this.

It should help you with the main points you need to know, to animate a quadriped.

Eeks the man when it comes to walk cycles advice, here’s some he gave me.

" Quadraped walk cycles are pretty standard once you get the hang of it.
horses generally do transverse walks and gallops, 3,4,1,2 step wise.
Where as dogs and cats do rotary walks, 4,3,2,1.
Then you get crazy stuff like double suspended rotary gallop like grey hounds.
Its all to do with the gait and the timing.
With a walk the foot is longer on the ground than in the air, vice versa for running. Between these you get things like trots, and canters.
also with a quadraped the front legs are exactly half a step out from the back legs. So when the back legs are at there passing position the front are at there full extention.
It gives the sense that the front legs are being kicked by the back. Also you get the classic wave motion of the hips and chest. The step and gait has to be exact, (time in air/on ground). Otherwise the front feet will catch up to quickly, then be spot on then behind.
I generally start with a 0 - 24 frame step start. So starting with hind foot back moves to its full extention at frame 10 then back. I generally work with the end number being even - seems to work for me. This is the principle of it all including bipeds, its controlled falling. Your falling onto the step."


yes ill see if i can find it. ok, for now this script will build the exact same quad rig.

as to walks/runs - if you draw a giant x on a piece of paper. With ‘longer in air’ at the top and ‘longer on ground at the bottom’ this is essential it. When the timing for the foot is in the middle of the x you have a trot, when it starts moving toward a run you have a canter, towards a walk a fast walk. This is the key essentially, you can have way off timings like 8 frames on ground 16 in air, and it say if you push the torso with a little flick at say frame 12-13 (for overlap) you getting into snidey walks. The up down is a wave covering both the steps. If you double the ups/downs in the range you get a double bounce to the walk. Walks are key. quads are essentially a human walk, stuck together with the front half a step out.

When cfc where doing walking with beast, they did a sabre tooth run, its feet were on the ground for one frame. Ive done sprints with 2 frames on the ground. Horse gallops are complicated, and its transverse i.e the cross over - also in sprints of quads there is no passing position, they happen in pairs, horses in 2-4 frames bak left,front right, back right, front left. da da dada, da da, dada. I tap the walk run first to get the beat in my head.


hi everyone!
thanks for lot of nice stuff about rigging

i’m lookin’ for a TUTORIAL for begginers about rigging character in MAYA with al ik/fk

maya Help sucks!


I’m a max user and i just noticed the free rig above, just wondering how one goes about creating an interface control system like the one he created for the above character? I’ve seen people make this kind of rig in xsi and maya, but never max, is there a reason why creating this kind of system in max might not be such a good idea? i just this it’s a lot easier.

Alternatively how else could you make a control system that allows you to easily get control of your character without having to go in and grap gizmos etcs ?

Cheers - Dave.


I would think that grabbing gizmos is easier. I’m guessing that a Max user might like those groovy sliders that were introduced years ago? Or is it numeric control you seek?

It always seemed that Max users relied on Character Studio’s “Physique” and “Biped” for most of their rigging needs.

It’s a good question, though. I’d be academically curious to hear some thoughts on the answer. I’m guessing you have asked this on a Max forum also, ya?

It seems that nowadays, you might be better off choosing between the specialties of rigging or animating, unless you have the propensity to excel at both. For me (at present), I’m better off spending time using a pre-fab rig and honing my animation skill. Otherwise, I’d spend so much time trying to learn rigging that I’d never get to animate anything, much less become proficient at it.



I think in todays world and also dependent on the size of the studio we work in its becoming more the case that we need to know all areas of the pipeline from modelling to animation, if only to forsee and avoid problems futher down the line.

To be honest i thought this was the max forum! oops. It’s just a general thought really.

I just like how some people, espcially on demo reels tend to have really well built controls consoles away from the character itself and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on building them. I know how to build basic sliders etc but i’m sure there’s better ways.

Cheers - Dave.


I am trying to rig a biped that I modeled in maya, someone told me to export it to motionbuilder because it’s easier to rig there since it makes the controls for you and so on… but to do that I have to save it as a fbx in maya, and for some reason it doesnt give me that option, not even in the plugin manager, and I want to know if there is any other way to export it to motionbuilder, or any other easy way to rig it. I already have the skeleton and the body weights…
Please help! I’m so frustrated!!


Hi all

Does someone knows where to find C4D rigging tuts., or even better DVD in depth training :slight_smile:
Also where to find tuts. about mechanical rigging ?

Thank you :slight_smile:


don’t know if this is posted before but here it is:

also try the links on that page and you’ll come to different websites with both rigs and mel scripts…


So you wanna use motion builder. I am not sure why the fbx xport isnt in the plugins list but it should be. Fbx is now native to maya and one of the most universal and widely supported intermediary out there. (great features too). Go to window>settings and preferences>plugin manager and look for the fbx to load. if you don’t find it then you can download the latest version off the net.

 Once you get the plugin working you have to export (not save as) the file or selected to fbx. Then you can open this in motion builder. However, If you are feeling brave then I can suggest using the full body ik in Maya. If you don't know motion builder there will be a considerable learning curve to actually reap all the benefits it has to offer. Also, the bone creation and skinning processs will be the same as you need to do this before exporting to fbx.

motion builder route

  1. make skeleton for your character (there is a naming convention you have to adhere to if you want it to work without problems)

  2. bind mesh to character ( if you are porting the animation back to maya this can be a dirty bind, the skeleton is what is important here. You can fine tune the mesh in skinning in maya or have someone else finish while you are animating)

  3. Export>FBX (default settings are usually fine for now)

  4. Open a copy of Motion builder

  5. file>import/open>“yourfile.fbx” (default settings ok)

  6. there should be a window called asset browser with some tabs. click on the asset browser tab and click the plus by the word template in the tree (if not in tree view then click the button with the tree on it at the top of the rollout)

7.under template you should find the word character, click on it. you should see a few icons to the right. One will be a little generic man with the word character underneath.

  1. go up to the upper left corner of the viewer window and click the dropdown for view and click on x-ray (now you can see the bones and the mesh)

  2. left mouse drag the character icon from the asset browser and drop it onto the root/hips of the characters skeleton. A window pops up

  3. this window asks if you are making a biped or quad click the appropriate one.

  4. go to the navigator window and click on the plus next to characters and then click on the characteer underneath. ( you should see the pallete change to the left, you may have to double click) the navigator window in the upper right corner you will see the words create rig click create

  1. it will ask you if you want to create an fk/ik rig or just ik. click the appropriate.

  2. you can now use the character controls in the upper right corner of the screen or by picking them in the viewer.

this is a quick run through. If this isn’t doing it for you then check out the following link

Maya route

for the best results just open the help files and search for fullbodyik

you will still do steps 1 and two from above and then it supposedly gives you the same motionbuilder rig but in maya

I have personally found it clunky and buggy and without the finesse of motionbuilders
Probably different math behind it and it tries to use mayas proprietary tools to do this and in my opinion doesn’t quite make it. but I will leave you to your own opinion, if you have better luck maybe you can share your knowledge