Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Where is the Best Place to Find Free Animation Rigs?

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 learning 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.


To sign up for our September classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link. For more information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business. Also see our post about freelancers and taxes 

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