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RIGGING FOR ANIMATORS « Keyframe Animation School


Course lenght: 9 Weeks

Workshop aimed for artists in need of effortlessly rigging characters and have them animation-ready, complying with industry standards. In this workshop you will learn all the professional techniques in order to achieve believable, organic deformations, create custom controllers, custom facial GUIs, on-face micro controllers for local deformations, incorporate accessories such as belts, weapons, backpacks, antennas, tails, interactive clothes, hairstyles and much more.



What is this Workshop all about?

This online workshop is aimed for artists interested in creating fast, efficient, industry-quality Rigs for their characters.  For this workshop we will be using Autodesk Maya, which can be downloaded with an educational license HERE.

For this workshop we are using an in-house Autorig designed only for rigging the body.  This is a very robust and complete bipedal Autorig which includes amazing features such as a Ribbon Spine, Stretch and Squash for all limbs, Bendy Limbs with the use of Ribbons as well, IK-FK switches/blends/matches and much more.  This way, you will forget about all the technical stuff involved in creating a full body rig by your own and only worry about the artistic side related to painting skin weights, which might sound like a heavy/boring subject, but we will make it so intuitive and easy, you will love to paint weights ;)

Afterwards, you will create Corrective Blendshapes in order to provide your character with the illusion of muscles for biceps, triceps, quadriceps, calves, trapezoids and wherever it is needed to simulate muscle mass.

Once the body is completed, we will move to the facial part of the course, covering all technical/artistic aspects and creating everything from Zero.  With the help of Poly Sculpting tools and a facial bones system, we will achieve all needed deformations to create Phonemes, Emotions and independent facial muscle movements (macro and micro level).

At last, we will cover everything regarding interactive changes in accessories, hair-styles, clothes, weapons and whatever the character demands.

Do I need any previous Maya Rigging knowledge?

Not at all, we will make sure to teach you all the necessary tools to complete the course in a friendly based learning curve. The workshop is designed for beginners, intermediate and advanced users.

What is the Workshop´s workflow?

The workshop is completely online with a 9 weeks duration.  We have a 2 to 3 hour Live Class per week where students will watch as their teacher creates everything from scratch and provide the assignment/material to be turned in for next week´s Live Class.  These Live Classes are recorded and available for download to keep.

During the days left before the next Live Class, the student can send their progress to our Campus as many times as they wish for it to be reviewed and receive feedback from their teacher, so that the student will always be guided to problem solving and keep advancing on the assignment.  Along with receiving their feedback, they get access to other students feedback, so they can learn from others problems and how they are solved.

Students can bring their own characters for topology review, receive feedback on it for any fixes so that it can be eligible for rigging, or they can be handed some of our characters to work with them.

As part of our School´s philosophy, this workshop will take you through a friendly learning curve, making sure that the student´s progress is done with giant, but firm steps.  

We will make sure you get tangible, high-quality (no matter your experience level) results.

Do we provide a character for the Workshop, or do we have to provide it?

We usually like to work with student´s models, so this way they can learn about the proper topology and what makes a good, ready-to-rig model.  We dig in to any possible geometry, symmetry or accessories problem.  Otherwise, if the student has no modeling knowledge or would like to concentrate uniquely on the rigging techniques, they can always use one of our own. 

What can I expect at the end of the Workshop?

Once the Workshop is completed properly, the student will have all the necessary knowledge to articulate a complete bipedal character, with all necessary controllers and attributes to provide a perfect locomotion/body expression, facial expressions, phonemes, facial micro-controllers to sculpt detailed gestures, change in clothes, accessories, hair styles and textures in order to have different appearances. 

Do I receive a Certificate once I finish the Workshop?

For sure, once the student has finished the Workshop SATISFACTORILY, meaning, submitting all assignments and required feedback changes in time, the student receives a Certificate from the School which avails his participation and attesting of its entire accomplishment.

Class Outline

WEEK 1 :  Topology analysis, what makes a good model for rigging? / Setting up Guides, Bones and Controllers for our character

WEEK 2 :  Weight Painting theory/techniques/hands-on!

WEEK 3 :  Corrective Blendshapes

WEEK 4 :  Use of Containers, Facial Blendshapes with Modeling tools

WEEK 5 :  Connecting Facial Blendshapes with controllers and designing our GUI

WEEK 6 :  Bone based facial deformations

WEEK 7 :  Creating phonemes/emotions on a Container and connecting it to original rig

WEEK 8 :  Interactive clothes/hairstyles/accessories/textures

WEEK 9 :  Cleaning up everything, animator-ready & Bonus/Secret topic ;)


  • Autodesk Maya 2016 +
  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Basic computer knowledge and basic skills in 3d animation software.
  • Good understanding of English language
  • 4GB RAM (8GB recommended)
  • 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor
  • Webcam (for best communication with instructor, but not a must)
  • Headphones and/or headset-mounted microphone (for best communication with instructor, but not a must)
  • Three button mouse (required for work within Maya)
  • Broadband Internet: 5Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload

Start Date: March 22, 2020
Spots Left: 4 seats
Number of Sessions: 9

Sundays @ 8 pm  - 10 pm (CST)


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