CG & Resources & Rig Reviews & Rigs

Thinking Animation – New Maya Rigs Section

Every day riggers are releasing more and more really well-done rigs for FREE! So, I have re-worked my Maya Rig section to accommodate. The rigs listed in the Maya section on the left menu have all been tested at some point by myself and/or my students. These are the rigs I recommend. I have separated the rigs by the level of detail and controls. Simple rigs are separated under NEWBIE. The more intermediate level rigs are under JUNIOR – BIPED and…

Maya Rigs That Don't Suck
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Rig Reviews

New Maya Rig Reviews Page on the Site

I just posted an informative RIG REVIEW page on the site about the free character rigs available that I have tested with my students at USC. Maya Rigs That Don’t Suck There are a couple more rigs I will add to this page, but this covers most of those I know of that are free or “next to free” offered out there. My hope is to make it easy for the riggers to make improvements to the rigs.  Let me…

Free Johnny Rig
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Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 3 Stars – Johnny Rig – FREE

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Johnny Rig “Missing some important controls, appealing design.” ☆☆☆ 3 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] After using this rig with my students, I realize it needs some major work… especially on the arms. The arms twist inside out when translated.  Not good.  if the rigger wants help making it better, just contact me.  I have taken this rig off my list of recommended rigs to use. Pros: Basics Robust body and facial controls. Controls for individual…

Hare Rig
01 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 4 Stars – Hare Rig – Cartoony with Finicky Deformations

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Hare Rig “Nice rig, easy to animate.  Great for body mechanics.” ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/128966858″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/129321496″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/130466459″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] This rig, much like the Zombie, doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles but what it does have works.  I would use it for body mechanics rather than acting shots. Pros: Basics Robust body and minimal facial controls. Controls for individual fingers. Controls directly on the face, NO GUIS! Switches…

Kayla and Kyle Rig
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Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars – Kayla and Kyle Rigs by Josh Sobel – Appealing and Robust!

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Kayla (Kyle) Rig “Appealing design, can age from 6-16, really impressive.” ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/126653253″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/120239567″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Pros: Basics Robust body and facial controls. Controls for individual fingers. Controls directly on the face, NO GUIS! Switches for IK and FK on neck, limbs and spine each controller. Dynamic parenting: Basic switches for local, hip, chest and global spaces on all limbs IK and FK. FK/IK Spine. Neck and head switch to FK…

Jin and Joe Rig
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Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars! – Jin and Joe Rigs from One one One Animation – Great For Body Mechanics

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Jin and Joe Rigs “Appealing design, great for body mechanics work.” ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/117906883″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX4Mu1MrxtI”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Pros: Basics Robust body controls. Holy cow there are a lot of controls!  I would request a way to turn some if these off to avoid confusing newbie animators. Controls for individual fingers, kind of.  This is weird choice, but there is an independent control for the knuckles, but everything underneath is an…

Mathilda Rig
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Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars – Mathilda Rig by Leon Li-Aun Sooi and Xiong Lin – Very Advanced Rig

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Mathilda Rig “Her facial goes to scary town quick.” ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”http://vimeo.com/112416364″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Qaj-aPjJJ6c”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Pros: Basics NOT a newbie rig.  Do not start using this rig unless you have animated a character before. Robust body and facial controls, if in “experienced hands” are fine. Controls for individual fingers. Controls directly on the face, NO GUI. Switches for IK and FK on each controller. Dynamic parenting switches for local and global spaces for…

Mery Maya Rig
02 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars! – Mery Rig – Most appealing female free Maya rig out there

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Mery Project Rig “Appealing female design, decent rig.” ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/99567750″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Pros: Basics Robust body and facial controls. Controls for individual fingers. Controls directly on the face, NO GUIS! Switches for IK and FK on neck, limbs and spine, located on each limb.  I prefer on the top node, but this is workable. Dynamic parenting: Basic switches for local, hip, chest and global spaces on all limbs IK and…

Zombie Rig
01 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 4 Stars – Sony Pictures Hotel T Zombie Rig Fun for Zany Shots

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Zombie Rig “Great for body mechanics, no much facial.” ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/108535134″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/109651168″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/user17183126″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/112180554″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] I know this is a very short list, but the fun design and most important controls are there… so, it makes up for the limited control. Pros: Basics Very basic rig. Controls for individual fingers. Basic switches for IK and FK on each limb Individual Finger controls Neck Follow for Head, FK Neck…

02 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 4 Stars – Body Mechanics Rigs by Joe Daniel – Good for Game and Action

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Body Mechanics Mega Pack “Great for body mechanics, no facial.” ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/122945187″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/107171406″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/user7357374″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/114476093″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/109687333″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/105263121″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Why only ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars? UPDATE 11.26.2014: The re-rigging of these puppets has been comprised by using the set-up machine.  The Body Mechanics Rig Pack were robust before using Rapid Rigger, but the guy who wrote Rapid Rigger will not allow anyone to use his plugin to resell a rig.…

49 second 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars – Animation Mentor Squirrel Rig

The new Squirrel Rig from Animation Mentor is about the most appealing and easy to use rig I have see out there for free!  All you have to do to get this rig as sign up here. ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars – Animation Mentor Squirrel Rig  I give this rigs 5 Stars because it is solidly built, appealing and they provide extra tutorials to explain how to animate it and how to animate videos to create a hop with overlap.  Talk…

EXTW Rigs
03 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars – External World 65 Humorous Rigs for FREE!

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] EXTW David O’Reilly Rigs (65) “Appealing design, can age from 6-16, really impressive.” ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/19723116″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/76291126″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/83962591″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/bqUJQNsMtp4″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/127451255″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text]I feel like I have no right to critique anything about a man who hands out 65 rigs for free from his film.  I use these rigs to teach Intro to Animation in Maya because they are simple. Sometimes simplicity forces complexity.  These rigs are downsized for…

Animus Rig
02 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 3 Stars – Animus Rig

Rigging Demo Reel from Nick Miller on Vimeo.  Animus Rig (short) from Nick Miller on Vimeo. Download the Animus Rig ☆☆☆ 3 Stars – I cannot give this rig any higher than 3 stars because I just cannot get over the IK foot.  No toe or ball roll makes animating the feet really difficult.  But!  This is a solid create rig with a lot of controls that is fairly easy to figure out. PINS:  This rig has pins which is a…

01 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 4 Stars – Free Rig from AM – Stewart!

In case you live under a rock and don’t know, AM has released a really kewl rig, FOR FREE! Stewart ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars – I encourage my students to sign up and get this free rig at USC.  There is no facial, only 3 fingers, no toes… but it is a clean rig that is great for body mechanics and pantomime shots. Update 10/29:  This rig has some serious gimbal lock issues on the shoulders.  There is a gimbal lock…

Eleven Maya Rig
02 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 5 Stars! – Eleven Rig – Most reliable free Maya rig out there

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Eleven Rig “Best FREE rig, solid and reliable.” ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jWJ8zSoz_8″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Pros: Basics Robust body and facial controls. Controls for individual fingers. Controls directly on the face, NO GUIS! Switches for IK and FK on neck, limbs and spine on top node, easy to find.  I love how all of the switches for this rig are on the top node.  I wish all riggers did this.  You go to…

CG Meetup Minion Rig
01 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 4 Stars – Minion “Finnion” Rig by Dave at CGMeetup – Best for Snappy Animations

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] The Minion Rig “Charming, better for snappy animations.” ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/p7eQpbbQZ9Q”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWzQdkn4VPg”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gRICQAqONI”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaML1I8bNi0″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIizsUOmIGQ”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] The way this rig was built it screams for snappy, pose to pose, cartoony motion. Pros: Basics Robust body and facial controls. Controls for individual fingers. Controls directly on the face, NO GUIS! Switches for IK and FK on neck, limbs and spine each controller. FK Spine Neck and head switch to FK…

Long Winter Studios
02 minute 
Animators & Geek Stuff & Learning & Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 2 Stars – Long Winter Studios Rigs Are Really Bad

☆☆  2 Stars –  I cannot give this rig any more than 2 Stars because it has some serious issues. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY Long Winter Studios has some new rigs for sale on their site. I was hoping to use them with my students at USC, but I asked for some specific revisions and Long Winter will not add the most basic of controls for teaching. One of my MFA students paid the 75$ for the Tom rig to…

Fish Boy Rig
02 minute 
Rig Reviews & Rigs

RIG REVIEW: 4 Stars – Fish Boy Rig – Best for Close Up Acting

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Fishboy Rig “Better for Close Up Acting Shots” ☆☆☆☆ 4 Stars! –  Get it here [/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/90988075″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/48639012″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/42195363″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reZxrxrisac”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WylECnyHcPg”][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/41791019″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/55231007″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/108452399″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_column_text] Fishboy has been around since I think about 2012.  He is not a terrible rig, but he is a rig for the more experienced because newbies tend to create really ugly shapes. It’s fun that he has no structure to him like a flour sack, but I…