Saturday, 29 November 2014

Mathilda - a New Free Rig for Maya Animators!

Mathilda, courtesy of SCAD
Mathilda is here! This new free rig, now available for use by Maya animators, has just been released by SCAD - The Savannah College of Art and Design.

It's a great rig - with a really nice range of facial expressions.  Mathilda looks very attractive, well designed, and we're excited to see what our students can do with this latest addition to the now very wide range of freeware available to those learning to animate in Maya.

Who Made Mathilda?

According to a recent post at,  the Mathilda Free Rig was developed by Leon Li-Aun Sooi and Xiong Lin from Savannah College of Art and Design. Its features include:
  • Animschool Picker - new technology from AnimSchool
  • Advanced facial control -  Sticky lip, Eye scale, Bendy head,  Fleshy eye,  Secondary controls
  • IK/FK limb control - The key framed position of IK or FK can convert with each other by using picker. 
  • Stretch Spine - Limbs, bendy Limbs.
  • Hand and foot control system: additional attributes allow easier control of the rig.
  • Auto interaction: The jacket will automatically interact with gravity when you rotate the body. The eyelash will also bend when you pull the eyebrow down.
  • Easy shader loading: All the advanced shaders(Subsurface scattering, procedural) are saved in another file. So rig will not be too slow when you create the rig reference. By using the picker, you can easily assign all the advanced shaders to the model.
  • N-hair is available for this rig. Check the help document to see how to render and simulate n-hair.
  • Global Scale: scale the size of the rig.
What are the terms of the license?
The purpose of this project is providing a free high-end character rig for animation students to develop their professional portfolio. Commercial use is forbidden.

Leon Li-Aun Sooi is responsible for rigging, tool development, body blendshape modeling and tweaking hair for the test animation. Check more of his work at
Xiong Lin is responsible for modeling, texturing, head blendshape modeling and lighting two test shots in this demo. Check more of his work at

Scott Wright (one of my old kumrads from DreamWorks), Prasad Narse, and Alex Anderson did the animation in the clip below.

How does she work?
Watch the video below to see a full walk-through of this excellent rig.

Mathilda Rig Demo from Mathilda on Vimeo.

Where can Mathilda be found?
Download Mathilda here and start animating

To sign up for our next 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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