Saturday, 30 August 2014

Where can you find free rigs for animation?

There are many free rigs available to Maya animators hoping to practice and learn their craft. Norman, Max, Morpheus - all excellent rigs available at no charge and easy to download, all free for non-commercial use. But beware - all rigs are different and each one has its own quirks. All take time to get used to, and each one will drive you crazy at first. Fortunately for us, The Eleven Second Club Resources Page has helpfully provided a page pulling together many of the best free rigs most commonly used for character animation.

The five most commonly used by competitors in the monthly 11 Second Club competition (which we highly recommend our students enter) are Eleven, Norman, Morpheus, Max, Moom and Bishop. Beware of the latter - it is owned by the online school Animation Mentor and only free for use by their students. Of the first five, Norman is the longest established, arguably the simplest to learn, and probably the most robust. All, however, have their strengths and weaknesses.

Which ever rig you choose, make time to get used to it, and don't forget the power of Google to help solve problems. Other students will have encountered the same difficulties as you, and there are user forums across the web which will help you overcome hurdles and get you on your way.

"What is wrong with Morpheus' skin textures"
"Where are the IK switchers on Norman?"

Someone out there knows. If you don't get an answer quickly, try formulating the question in a different way:

"Morpheus skin texture problem"

One way or another,  you will find the answer. Make a note of it, build up your own library of rig notes which you can come back to next time you animate with that character, or help out a fellow student who is stuck.


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 about motion capture at Bucks. And find out about how our online video tutorials work.

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