One of the many benefits of animating with Autodesk Maya (the main animation software we use at Bucks) is the large and growing global community of artists who collaborate on freeware projects, bringing to life excellent animation rigs like Norman and Morpheus. The latest character rig to be released soon will be The Mery Project - available to Maya users free of charge.
To find The Mery Project, go to http://www.meryproject.com. Below is a short video explaining how it all works:
Mery Project Presentation from Mery Project on Vimeo.
In the meantime, here is a list of some of the rigs that we recommend our students use, and which we think are the best for animation training. They are all free to use, though their creators should always be credited. Industry professionals always give credit where it is due.
- Bouncing Ball. The best place for beginners to start learning animation. You will have to register with Creative Crash first, but it's free and they don't send spam.
- Ultimate Rigs. A great collection of free rigs.
- Monty. Our favourite simple biped rig - perfect for learning animation.
- Norman. An excellent biped rig, very stable and thoroughly tested. Norman can be adapted and customised.
- Heavy. Based on the character from the video game Team Fortress. An excellent, stable rig.
- Morpheus. Arguably the best free rig for character performance. Very adaptable. Not for beginners though.
For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Lynda.com. Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn aboutmotion capture at Bucks.