Human Biped Rigs

The Eleven Rig is my favorite rig to teach newbies with because the math and controls are clean and do not break. This rig is also very simple with out a bunch of unnecessary controls.

The download link below points to my “fixed version” of the rig which works in Maya 2014 or higher. If you want the original rig, go here.

People think it is funny that I still use this rig after so many years… but you can alter it to male or female, the math on the legs is accurate where a walk cycle doesn’t limp (which is more than I can say for many rigs out there), it has pins for the knees and elbows which I find lacking on many rigs offered and finally the facial is directly on the face and not some GUI on the side which I prefer. I hate moviong controls hoping it will make the shape I need like some remote control setup. This rig works well for both facial and body mechanics. Rig by Chris Donnelly katana2665@yahoo.com

    

The Mery Rig is the most appealing FEMALE rig for free out there right now. Be careful spinning her around as her hips can go into gimbal lock easily. This rig works well for both facial and body mechanics. Her facial can go off model quickly so remember appealing shapes! She can change from pants to skirt and comes with a picker and here the link to download and install instructions. Rig by José Manuel García Alvarez and Antonio Méndez Lora http://www.meryproject.com/contact

 

  

The Franklin Rig is the most appealing MALE rig for free out there right now. He has very long proportions so be careful in pose choices and his facial is BOTH directly on his face and is a GUI (which I, personally hate) for the lips sync and more detailed shapes. This rig works well for both facial and body mechanics. If you take care in create pretty shapes, his long thin design will pay off in body mechanics shots as well as acting. Rig by Joshua Cote http://jicdesigns.com/contact/

 

  

The Malcolm Rig is a favorite among animators because the new release V2.0 has more costume changes than the Village People. He also has a robust set of controls, but you will need to install the picker to handle it all. This rig works well for both facial and body mechanics. If you take the time to change his clothes and sakin/hair colors he can look amazingly different than the original mod. Rig by Anim School http://www.animschool.com/DownloadOffer.aspx

 

  

 

The Kayla and Kyle Rigs are very appealing and worth the $12. You get both kayla (girl) and Kyle (boy).  There is a robust set of controls, but you will need to install the picker to handle it all. The rigs come with a picker shelf and both can age proportionally from about 6-16 years of age. This rig works well for both facial and body mechanics. Rig by Josh Sobel joshsobel89@gmail.com

 

 

  

Mathilda RigThe Mathilda Rig is a decent rig but her facial can get creepy really fast, so be careful with those controls. You should also scale her teeth because they are too small and part of the reason she looks scary, especially when she smiles. Scale her choppers so the biggest front tooth can fit inside a nostril. This follows normal proportions. This rig works well for both facial and body mechanics although she has a creep factor when doing dialog that takes her off model easily. I like Mery or Luna better for facial dialog scenes. Rig by Leon Li-Aun Sooi and Xiong Lin mail@leonsooi.com

 

  

The Homer Simpson Rig is fun for cartoon-y actions and my students love playing with him. His design can be limiting for movement due to his belly but that is the job of the character animator to create movement that works for the design! He has really fun face controls that can do a lot. The neck has that weird translate instead of FK that I hate, but overall he is a pretty clean rig. Unless you are used to animating a character that is tubby and working around that design for body mechanics, I would use his for acting shots. Rig by Karim Kashefihttps://plus.google.com/105606222619284997349

 

  

 

The Jin and Joe Rigs are appealing but have a few issues for the inexperienced animator.
1 – there is no picker and a TON of controls to keep up with.
2 – the deforms at the elbows, knees groin and shoulders are not clean so you have to baby the rig to get appealing poses.
This rig works definitely works better for close up acting than body mechanics for these reasons.
Rig by One on One Animation School

 

 

 

The Ray Rig is “OK.” He is not my favorite for body mechanics but this rig has robust facial for close up acting. His body design is very “anime” in style (the shins are longer than the thighs) and it is hard to get appealing shapes for beginning animators. If you are working on a multiple char shot he would work well with Jin and Joe rigs as they are anime styled as well. I am not saying you cannot create good body mechanics with this rig, as you can see by the clips below, you can. I am saying it will take some care and attention to shapes and I find it is a hurdle for newbie animators. This rig is provided by the CGtarian School

 

   


Super Human Biped Rigs

The ZombZombie Rigie Rig From Hotel T is simple and pretty easy to use. Very few controls. Better for body mechanics as the facial is limited since, he is, well… a zombie. A lot of potential for humor if you embrace the zombie angle and use the limited controls to your advantage as a design feature. Great for personality driven walk cycles, too.

Rig by Sony Pictures

 

 

 

  

The Conan Rig is clean and moves well. He comes with an axe prop but there are plenty of free weapon models online you may download if you want something else. I like that you can animate his necklace, too. He does have a thick body design so the shoulders need to move a lot to get his arms around his chest. Rig by Truong CG Artist

 

 

 

 

The Skeleton Rig is clean and moves well. I cannot find many animations using this rig.  if you have one to submit, please send it to angie @ thinkinganimation dot com

Rig by Truong CG Artist

 

 

 

The Heavy Rig is clean and moves well for a “game-quality.” Can do facial, but is limited. I encourage my students to use this rig for body mechanics shots. Rig by Sachin Pokhriyal

 

 

 

 
 

The Scout Rig is clean and moves well for a “game-quality.” Can do facial, but is limited. I encourage my students to use this rig for body mechanics shots. Rig by Enkidu13

 

 

 

 

 


Animal Biped Rigs

The Judy Hopps Rig is a new release and it tested well with my students. Students created walk cycles with this rig and although the foot controls are more complicated than the Walker Rig and Eleven’s control set-up, students took to the rig well after using the simpler ones just fine.

I would encourage students to try the Eleven Rig for the walk first before tackling this rig because Eleven only has maybe 50-75 controls. The Judy Hopps rig is very detailed and at feature level of controls… meaning there are HUNDREDS of controls. You also have to run the python script to access the facial rig called “FemtoRig.” Rig by Mahmoud Youssef http://www.mahmoudgfx.com/contacts

The Mr. Buttons Rig is appealing and bends right for most deforms, but he has limited toe controls and will take a little coaxing to create solid body mechanics = walks, skips, runs, etc. He is much better for close up acting shots. Rig by Keith Osborn
http://www.bloomsbury.com/cw/cartoon-character-animation-with-maya/student-resources/mr-buttons/

 

 

 

The Hare Rig is fun for cartoony actions, but work much better on body mechanics because his design impedes facial sometimes. You must tilt the head back quite a bit to even see his mouth. He has some weird deforms on his legs and hips so take care in posing. You may have counter animate some controls to get an appealing shape. Again, he is much better for close up acting shots. Rig by Arman Musovic

 

  

 

The Pink Panther Rig is really best for body mechanics, but he does have facial controls. You will have to work hard to get appealing shapes for dialog, it just takes patience. Rig by Karim Kashefi

 

 

 

 

The Koala Bob Rigi is an “ok” rig. This rig has serious issues with the legs, especially if you put them in FK mode. The deforms are a bit weird on the body and it is difficult to get this rig into a seated position. I had a student try to make him dance and this also was quite challenging. In addition, the squash and stretch doesn’t respect volume so you have to work at it to keep the rig from feeling like it it is made of jello. You can see by the “Ah-Ha” example below that he goes off model pretty quickly on the body so you have to understand how to create appealing shapes.  not the best rig for a beginner.

This is why this rig is listed last. It could be a great rig and has a lot of character to it, but it really needs work. I am not saying you cannot get a good performance out of this rig. I am just saying you need to be an experienced animator to get appeal. This rig works best for close up shots for dialog. The rig comes with a picker and a library of facial poses. Rig by Josh Sobel joshsobel89@gmail.com