One of the great things about working in 3D is the community where people are always proud and willing to show off their skills and help contribute back with scripts, code, tips, tricks and completed rigs. There is no better way to hone your skills in 3D than to see how other people have created a model, rig, or render. Having said that, there is nothing more fun than to get a new rig to try out, if even only to see where the possibilities will take you in posing, animation, and the creation of the rig as well. In that spirit, I have compiled a list of some of the most fun rigs by sifting through Creativecrash (on of the largest respiratory and marketplaces for all things 3D) and a few other places where rigs are available for maya, for free, for practice, and for play.
Read more on the compilation and have some fun!
The Ashrafi rig by Dawood Ashrafi has some nice face controls and the deformation are pretty solid. The rig does feature some great finger and hand controls that are really fine-tuned, and the rig also comes with a great UI and scripts. Download Ashrafi Rig.
- Full facial setup
- stretchy limb
- fk/ik switch
- full finger setup
- full leg state setup
- elbow&knee lock
- in 3 form none, man, woman
- Gui picker
- mirror pose
- copy pose from one side to other
- reset every limb
The Bit Robot rig by John David Marte features ribbon spline arms, squash and stretch controls for the head, and custom interface selections through an in viewport scrolling display. Download Bit rig.
The Blake rig by Jason Baskin is a great all round cartoon rig with tons of features. BLake offers some really nice face controls for exaggerated expressions and the ability to change the body, clothes, hair type, facial hair, skin tone, glasses, etc. The controls are smooth through to IK/FK positioning and there are also some nice extended hand controls such as hand flex, splay and cupping. Download Blake.
- Multiple appearance options and clothing accessories
- Stretchy IK back with advanced twist controls
- Stretchy arms and legs with bendy elbows/knees
- FK/IK switching with FK/IK Matching for arms and legs
- Space Switching for arms and legs
- Clavicle controls
- Elbow and knee pole vector controls
- Full Finger Controls
- Multiple foot pivots
- Breath control
- Ear controls
- Stretchable head and neck
- Scalable from the Super Mover
- Full Osipa style facial rig
Boris a great face-only rig from James Stone has the capacity for great expressions, and some really nice skin weights that can hold up to the extreme poses possible with the rig. An Osipa type face rig is included for some smooth control, and a guide is also supplied with the file. Download Boris face rig.
Dino rig by Harry Gladwin-Geoghegan is a pretty straight forward rock-solid rig that comes with some nice textures…what makes it great is that dinosaurs are cool. The auto toe flop, and dynamic tail options are a great touch! Download Dino Rig.
- Proxy/Low Res/High Res switch
- FK overrides on the Auto Toe Flop
- FK and Automatic Tail Rigs
- Nostril Flares/Blinks
- Updated Texturing/Skinning
- Spline IK with FK control
- Automated toe flop
- Neck/Tail Orients
- Jaw/Tongue Control
- Foot Roll
Fuzzy rig by Michel Urbanek (with rigging tools by rigging tools by John Doublestein) is another great expressive cartoon rig with direct face control to achieve facial extremes easily. The rig includes gimble helpers, and has stretchy limbs as well. Download Fuzzy rig.
Package Man by Javier “Goosh” Solsona has been around for what seems like forever. It is in its essence an old-school rig which is capable, although missing most of the modern rig features. Having said that, there is always something funny about a character in googles and ginch. Download PackageMan.
KIT CAR RIG
the Kit Car Rig from Bubbatt is a great car rig with simple controls. The rig comes with some scripts for interface controls and character selections, and also has attache to curve options built in. Download Kit Car Rig.
Koko the dog rig by Jana Johnson was made in memory of the rigger’s actual dog Koko. A playful model and cartoon rig with on-face controls as well as a facial interface, this rig is expressive in extreme poses. Download Koko rig.
This cute little dino rig created by Doug Hines is really straight forward and simplistic, but a really fun character to pose and animate! Download Krag Rig.
- FK / IK switching
- Head and Jaw can animate separately
- Global Scaling attribute
- Intuitive rig
No, not a spelling error – another old, and very basic rig, there are not a lot of controls here so it is pretty straight forward. There is some popping of the joints if they are over extended and the bolts in the hips which rotate will snap back to an incorrect rotation if the leg is pulled to its limits, but the model is detailed enough that it is fun to get the machine walking and stomping around. Download Mecanic Rig.
[Animation courtesy of Joao Pires – thanks Joao!]
Monkey Rig has some nice hand controls, a face UI, IK/FK but is missing stretchy limbs. The proportions of the monkey make it fun to pose and animate, and the rig is capable of some pretty expressive stuff because of that. Download Monkey Rig.
Moom rig from Ramtin Ahmadi is a simple rig, but a great character to animate because all of the limbs are ball and stick you are able to really get some extreme poses with Moom. The rig does come with a selection interface, and blendshape sliders. Download Moom Rig.
RHETT THE CLYDESDALE
Rigged by Christopher Carson, Rhett is a capable quadruped rig with some nice features! Download Rhett The Clydesdale Rig.
- Independent shoulder controls for each leg
- Complete Fetlock control including compression
- Auto control attributes for the front elbows which can be blended off or on. The recommended setting for this attribute is around 2.0 (or 0.0 to disable)
- Stretchy spine and neck
- Multiple mesh resolutions that can be switched instantly
- Completely scalable
- More than a dozen Blend shapes for the face
- Back-up Main Control (Rhett_aCTRL, Rhett_bCTRL)
- Embedded mini GUI with easy set up of shelves and buttons ( KeyAll, ZeroAll, SelectAll KeyBody, ZeroBody, Keylegs, ZeroLegs, KeyHead, ZeroHead, KeyFace, ZeroFace)
Its a combination of a helicopter and a scorpion… whats not to like? It is however a pretty basic rig, and some limbs will pop if they are over extended, there is however and auto rotate switch for the blades. Download Scorpi Rig.
- automatic rotate for blade switch(ON-OFF)
- ik landing wheel
- eye control
- flexible tail
Sinka is a full featured rig from Suchan Bajracharya featuring stretchy and bendy limbs as well as fingers, and some pretty expressive facial controls. This rig is for non-commercial use only. This rig was built for animators to use in their own private exercises and non profit short films. Please give credit where credit is due. This is a free rig for anyone who wishes to bring the character to life and live the spirit of animation!
Simplebot is a great little character from Alex Puente, included with the rig is a selection UI, and some blendshape sliders. This little guy is fun. Download Simplebot Rig.
Spiderman is a basic character rig… but its Spiderman, so it is fun fun fun man, watch the video and see. Download Spiderman Rig.
- low / high poly
- comes with textures
- buttons (maya shelves) for easy “select all” controls
T-REX SKELETON RIG
Joel Anderson offers up this T-rex Skeleton Rig, the rig itself is pretty basic, and the model stretches in some areas if some pose positions are over extended, but it is a very cool little model and rig to play around with. Download T-Rex Skeleton Rig.
THE ANDY RIG
Probably one of the most used, most flexible, and most stable rigs around from John Doublestein. The Andy (short for “androgynous”) Rig was made for students at the Savannah College of Art and Design and is updated based on student feedback. It’s meant to play both male and female roles and be generic enough to act in many different scenarios. Multiple hair styles and textures are already available, but more can be added to change the look of the character. Feedback is appreciated and often implemented. Download The Andy Rig.
Well clearly there is nothing fun or exciting about a librarian, this is a great cartoon rig nonetheless- from John David Marte. Download The Librarian Rig.
- FK-IK blend
- Ribbon Controls
- Facial Controls
- Proxy, Low, High Display Modes
This is just fun for the transformation set driven key alone. The model transforms from a car to a robot by means of one slider. The rig features a highly detailed model in both car and robot form, some face controls, and IK/FK controls for the transformed character. Pretty sweet right there. Download Transformers Rig.
Did I miss your favourite fun rig? Please let me know!
& TONS MORE FROM KEIL FIGGINS
The image above is an aptly named Khanklesaur with some great controls and some dynamics as well too top off the “most fun rigs” list. Actually just head on over to Kiel Figgins site and download many many rig sets… really there are a crap-load there – they are older rigs, but they are all fun! Here is a sampling!