The Mery rig is now live and available to download. One of the many benefits of animating with Autodesk Maya 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 - just released - for students and non-commercial use is The Mery Project - now 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.
We'll be interested to see what our students do with Mery. As with all new rigs, there are bound to be bugs, things to be worked out, and also curiosities that take time to figure out. Every rig is different and all take time to master.
Of course, there are many other free rigs that are excellent and well-proven for character animation. Don't forget that 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.