Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Rigs!

Update 10/4/ 2014:  The BodyMech Rigs are back up, and with new features!  Here's a walk-through and pose demo video.

I've just launched a series of Maya rigs, designed to be perfect for honing in on those body mechanics and body acting skills.  These rigs are quick and fun to pose, just check out the video below.

BodyMech Rigs - Intro from joe daniels on Vimeo.

In order to fund future developments along these lines, I'm selling them through Gumroad.  Think of it this way:  buying a set of these rigs is like getting me dinner to say thanks for all the awesome stuff you're going to animate with them.  :)

  Thanks to everyone who is supporting this project.  You're all awesome!

Click on the thumbnail below to find out more.

I must have them all!

Pick up the AnimSchool Picker here.

P.S.  If you're an instructor looking to grab these up for your classes, or a workshop, you can do so by selecting the Volume License option in Gumroad's payment section and choose the number of licenses that is right for your case.
Check out the Single-user License Agreement and the Volume License Agreement for more info.


guilherme said...

Very nice job!

Unknown said...

Uhm... How do i get the 50% off? price is labeled $30.

Unknown said...

Hi Ian,
The first five rig sets, offered at the discounted rate sold very quickly. Sorry about that.

Feel free to take a look at one of the smaller packs, or grab the MegaPack at the regular amount.

Take care!

Unknown said...

Thanks, I just get confused for the sentence in the post, I didnt know if $30 was the regular or discounted price.

Unknown said...

Ah, my apologies for the confusion. I'll correct the post.

K.Boogie said...

awesome rigs Joe!!! thanx, i got the mega pack!! totally worth it!!

Tania said...

I can't wait to start working on these. Thank you for putting the time in and then sharing. :)

Unknown said...

You're absolutely welcome. Can't wait to see what everyone does with them! Thanks for your support.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering. Can you use these as a base rig and attach new geometry? Like create a new copy of the file then add a new smooth bind and paint weights? I'm wonder since this could help with initial animation and then let me render my own characters as long as they have similar proportions.

Jessica said...

wow- I've sent this link to all the animators I know- this is doing a massive amount of amateur(and professional) animators such a tremendous favour, rigs/models like these have never been available to the internet like this before! I'm really in awe, thank you so much! You'll be seeing these everywhere before long!

Maybe in the future there'll be a facial rig setup as well, and you can be sure I'll be front of the line, cash in hand.... but until then, thank you so much for making these available to purchase by anyone! I can't wait to test them out :)

Unknown said...

@Anonymous, great question. No you may not use these rigs as rigging tools themselves. They are for character animators to use for training purposes.

If you're looking for a great, affordable tool for doing this, check out Rapid Rig Advanced on or for a more robust setup, Rapid Rig Modular. Of the two, RRA is really easy to setup, but only builds biped rigs, where RRM has more settings, but can build pretty much any rig you can think up.

For about the same price as this rig pack, you can follow a couple quick tutorials and make the exact rig you need. Check it out!

Bob said...

Looks nice,but,could you write down features list about the rig?I mean ,can I use the rig to achieve the function like those ??
- IK/FK switching on spine
- Advanced spine setup without IK popping
- Seamless IK/FK switching
- IK/FK head
- IK/FK fingers
- Stretchy arms, legs, spine and neck
- Elbow and knee sliders
- Open scale on all body parts
- Leg and arm thickness control
- Pose mirroring

Alexander M. said...

HI, thank's for your rig, you make a happy animator. I want to ask you if you continue your serie of character. I search a rig of a dog in your style. Maybe you do it one after?
No matter,congratulation for your work,i'm gonna try your rig. And sorry for my approximatif english, i hope i don't be rude.

Unknown said...

@Jessica, Thanks for the kind words!
I'm not really interested in making rigs with facial setups, partly because I would have to charge as much as , and those rigs are brilliant, from what I can tell. If you're not familiar, check them out.

Unknown said...

@Bob, I will get to making a proper feature list as soon as I can.

@Alexander M., I am kicking around the idea of making an animal pack in this style, but I have no specific timeline for this. Thanks for the interest!

Unknown said...

Hello there,
First off, I'd like to thank you for providing these great rigs at such an affordable cost. I bought them about an hour ago and am already loving the control and appeal of them. I was wondering if there is a tutorial or explanation on how to install the picker? I wasn't sure if it was a feature just for Animschool students or whether it came with the purchase of the rigs. Any help on the matter would be much appreciated, please pardon my ignorance. Again,thank you so much for the awesome rigs!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Kenneth,
Great question. The picker file needs to be used with the AnimSchool picker which can be downloaded from their site:

There are a number of videos you can go through to get you all set with it.

BarisDogan said...

Hi Joseph

I have bought this rig pack
it is really cool

I need to ask something
charcters skin is look low poly
how ever your pictures is so cool and also smooth
what should I do for this

Unknown said...

Hi Baris,

In maya, to turn on the smooth preview, you select geometry and press "3".

So on these rigs, right-click and hold on the Geo display layer, choose "select objects" and then press "3".

The reason it's turned off by default is that you typically won't get realtime playback with it enabled, so I just turn it on for final playblasts or renders.

Unknown said...

Hey Joe,

I'm working with your rigs to make some test animation, and for fun... I ran into a problem though, I put an nCloth cape on herc, and as soon as I create any nMesh it looks like the rig gets unattached to the body mesh. Any insight?

p.s. Heard you graduated from RIT. I just got my degree in Film/ animation there :)

Unknown said...

Hi Nathaniel,

I'm not a simulation expert, but typically if you're going to make an nMesh for colliding with the cape, it's a good idea to duplicate the geometry and blendshape it (worldspace) to the original mesh, and then make that duplicated geo the nMesh. Geometry with skin clusters don't behave well as nMeshes, in my limited experience.

Yes, RIT's SOFA program was a good time. Congrats on graduation!


Joar Spanish said...

Hi Joe,
when will the rigs be available again? I'm really looking forward to put my hands on them.

Best regards

Josiah said...

Hi Joe,

First of all thank you so much for making these available!! They look fantastic!! I'm very excited to purchase them, and was wondering if you have a timeline as to when they might once again be available?


Unknown said...

Hi, all.
The rigs will come back up, hopefully very soon. I can't promise anything, but I would like to have them back up before next week...with a few upgrades!

Sorry again for the inconvenience.

Chris Bernal said...

Oh, I thought I missed my opportunity to get these rigs. I'm learning Cinema4d right now, but would like to revisit Maya for character animation and simple rigging. Just seeing the range of character and the old flour sack sparked my interest.

Thanks Joseph.

Francis Jasmin said...

Hi Joseph,

I've buy the rig pack...
I was wondering is there is any like Smart FK/IK Switching (switch to go IK or FK that snap on each others)...

I see there's in the rigging tool you use to build those, but it seem that if I don't have the script, I can't have the smart IK/FK Switch....


Unknown said...

Hi Francis,

Great question. The next update to the rigs will change things up a bit, and one new feature will be seamless IK/FK matching.

Stay tuned!

Francis Jasmin said...

Okay nice :-)

Will "early adopter" like me will get that update free :) ?

Joar Spanish said...

Finally!! I just bought and downloaded the body mechanic rigs. I'm looking forward to trying them out. Thanks for sharing these awesome rigs and keep up the good work Joseph!

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

i have a question .wats the cost of entire rig pack? totally its 40$ right?

Unknown said...

Yup, that's correct. For your individual use, the pack of 12 rigs is $40. Cheers!

neelz said...

I was wondering if it's just me or are other people also having very slow viewport playback when animating with these rigs?

I'm using Maya 2015, SP 5, Windows 7 Home, GeForce GTX 860M, up to date video drivers and I'm getting a max framerate of 10-12 fps while using Legacy Default Viewport.

When using Viewport 2.0, it drops down to 5-6 fps. And that's without using SSAO, AA or Motion Blur.

It also doesn't matter if I'm in shaded or wireframe mode, the result remains the same.

Is this "normal" and am I'm going to have to work around it or are other people getting proper 24 fps in the viewport?

I absolutely love these rigs, but the slow viewport playback is really killing my fun with them. I hate having to do playblasts all the time to check every little thing about the animation.

Any help or feedback is appreciated.

Unknown said...


Hmm, that frame rate is a little low. I've tested the rigs in 2014 and 2015 on both faster and slower machines, and haven't ever seen anything that low, especially in vp2 with all the fancy stuff turned off. Even on slow machines with old graphics cards, I get around 18 fps worst case scenario.

Could it be that your mesh is smoothed, or has the smooth preview turned on? Try selecting the geometry and hitting "1" to see if it improves.

It looks like you have a laptop with an integrated graphics card. Some times the latest drivers can have issues. You could test rolling back to a previous driver. You could also try getting the latest service pack of Maya. 2015 has had a few bugs in the original and first service pack that could be affecting performance.

Unknown said...


Do I need special software to run your rigs? I only have camtasia studio with snagit editor. What do I need to create animations?

I've used PPT which turned out actually pretty good.


Unknown said...

Hi Melissa,

These rigs are for creating character animation in Maya 2014 or later. Unless I misunderstand, I think you may be looking for something else?

Greg Marlow said...

Hi Joe,

I am interested in using these for a character animation class that I teach. The class is about 18 seats, but it repeats each semester. Do I need to buy the 25 volume license every semester, or am I covered just purchasing it once?

These look awesome. Looking forward to seeing what the students do with them.


Unknown said...

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your question. Yes, you will need a license for each student that uses the rigs, so if you have a new group of students each semester, you'll want to plan on either buying on a semester by semester basis, or get a larger pack for the whole year. The volume discount gets better the more you need. Feel free to email me at josephsdaniels (at) gmail (dot) com if you have more questions.


TAWDDE said...

These rigs are great, I love them, so much character and super affordable!

My question is, if I already bought the whole set, am I still able to get the new updates? If so, how do I access them?


Unknown said...

Hi Tawdde,

You can log into and browse your library to see any items you have purchased. Click on the BodyMech Megapack and download it again. You'll any update this way.


TAWDDE said...

I don't think I ever made a Gumroad account, my emails aren't attached to one. I think I just purchased it directly without logging into anything. And I'm not sure why the comment engine decided to call me 'Tawdde'... :)

TAWDDE said...

Sorry, nevermind! I just searched through my email and found that you sent an update link in October. Thanks!

Milio said...

Hi! Got the rigs pack the other day and I'm enjoying it loads! Great stuff Daniel!
Regarding the slow frame rate when playing animations on view port; I figured out that even in high end computers Maya really struggles to show up a decent frame rate. That is totally up to the number of skinclusters resolved by Maya...the less the better I'm afraid! You can test this easily by hiding both arms (as they have quite a lot of geometries skinned) in character control channel box options. As soon as I hide the arms I achieve a consistent 30fps (the frame rate I set for my animation) But showing up the whole character is giving me just around 15/18. To solve this I usually duplicate the geometry skinned and combine it in a single mesh, one single skincluster (even dual quaternion one) is really fast for Maya to resolve and allows you to iterate much faster. You can have both characters, one for the whole character and the original one in case you need to hide some parts, which is quite useful too.

Hope you find this helpful.

Happy animated new year to everybody!

I started to test the rig with a simple jump test:



Unknown said...

Hey Milio,

Thanks for testing that. That's a pretty simple solution, so I will look into this for a future update. BTW, Herc is looking pretty badass there!


nostrocker said...


First off thanks for the awesome rigs! Very much enjoying them. I'm getting an issue that's a bit of a nuisance however, with some controls I get a delay interacting in the graph editor. The CoG for example, if I click any key in the graph editor it takes about a second for it to register. Same with moving keys, I have to wait a second before it catches up. Wondering if anyone else has had this issue or if there might be a fix out there...

Thanks again though, and regardless these things rock.


Mr. Bayless said...

Hey there. I am incredibly new to 3D modeling, as such all I have access to is Blender (as it is free). I would still LOVE to get a hold of these as they'd be a lot of fun for character design and finding the right poses when drawing. Would I be able to open these in Blender or are they only functional in Maya?

I'm sorry if this is a dumb question.

Unknown said...

@Mr. Bayless
That's a great question. Blender is a lot of fun, and I often use it for modeling. While my rigs won't be able to be opened in Blender directly, if you have access to the student version of Maya (free) you would be able to take the rigs and pose them as you like to export to Blender as .obj or .fbx files. Otherwise, I'm not aware of any means of converting the files to a format that Blender will take, without first having Maya.

Ray said...

What a cool stuff! I'm Korean student who have learned animation acting. Your characters have a unique. Really. Please make again more awesome things. Cheer up!

Unknown said...


There are great! :)
Do you have any examples with these in Unity 3D?