Friday, 15 May 2015

Introducing the Animus Rig!

Animus rig by Nick Miller and Lin Xiong
Finding great rigs to study creature performance isn't easy. Here at Bucks we've just started to use the Animus Rig, created by the very talented Nick Miller and Lin Xiong, and released as freeware into the Maya community. It's a great rig for a number of reasons, one of the most important being the wide range of facial controls, which makes it perfect for sophisticated creature dialogue and lipsync. So, how does it all work?

Where is the Animus Rig?
You can find it and download it for free here at Creative Crash. 

How does the Animus rig work?
To see how the rig works, start off by watching the official how-to video below:

Animus Rig from Nick Miller on Vimeo.

How do you turn on the facial controls?
To use the facial controls, go to the viewport and then select panels/facial camera. This will bring up a full facial interface which allows you to animate the facial expressions as well as dialogue and lipsync.

What about the scripts and icons that come with it?
First make sure the scripts and icons are in the correct directory. Scripts go in your Maya scripts folder.

This command opens the UI, make sure you execute in python:

import nm_animus_mirrorFace


import nm_animus_faceSym



Does the rig actually work?
It certainly does. To see the rig put through its paces, see the animation test by animator Spartan Pace below.

Like all new rigs, it's always worth spending a bit of time figuring out how the rig works before you start animating. What can the rig do? What can't it do? Every rig has its limitations, and you need to animate within those limitations. Always watch the "how to" videos - it will save you a lot of heartache down the road.

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 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.

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