Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Ray Rig from CGTarian - and How to Use It

Ray from CGTarian
We're liking the Ray rig from from CGTarian. It's a very useful rig, adaptable and easy to use.

Ray has plenty of controls, and is especially good for facial animation, and therefore for character performance.

Best of all, Ray doesn't have any odd bugs or weird behaviours.

On the downside, Ray is rather high poly, and for that reason it can be hard to get real-time playback in the Viewport. If you're struggling to get real-time playback in your Viewport, this will slow down your workflow a great deal, and we recommend selecting a lower-poly rig.

License Type
Ray is free for download, but subject to the following main conditions:
  • CGTarian’s character Ray may be used for personal and educational purposes only. 
  • Any video containing CGTarian’s character Ray needs to clearly include the text; "Ray, courtesy of CGTarian Online School".
  • Commercial use is prohibited
When you first open up the Ray rig he comes with "wireframe on shaded" turned on. To turn this off, go to your viewport and, in the Shading menu, turn off wireframe on shaded.

Ray scales easily. Just select his global control and adjust the scale.

Facial Picker
One useful feature of the Ray rig is a facial picker - a special camera view that allows you to select Ray's facial controls quickly and easily.

Eye Controller Settings
Ray's Eye Direction Control (named "ray_ac_cn_lookAt") works best when you change the Head Space slider (in the Channel Box) from 1 to 0. This way Ray's eyes will still follow the eye direction even when you rotate his head from side to side - which is generally what you want.

Create a Face Camera
If you don't like Ray's facial picker, we recommend always creating a Face Camera when you animate characters in Maya. To do this, follow these steps. Create a camera, name it faceCam, and parent it to the facial controls. Then tear it off (Panels/tear off) so you can return to the faceCam whenever you need it. This will save you a lot of time when animating facial expressions. To see this process in more detail, watch the video below:

High poly count
Ray has a fairly high poly count, and for that reason it can be hard to get real-time playback in the Viewport. So, if you are using an older machine or having playback problems, you might want to avoid this rig.

How to use the Ray rig
Watch the video below from creator Mike Safianoff to learn how the rig actually works:

CGTarian - Ray rig introduction from mike safianoff on Vimeo.

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.


  1. Controls in Ray_controls_cam is not working

    1. I have the same problems, the facial controles are locked.