Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where Can I Find Some Good Rigs to Play With Online

I get this question all the time, actually, which is great, because it means that a lot of people out there are really hungry to practice their animation, which I think is terrific!

I thought I'd just do a quick post here to point you towards some rigs that my buddy Tim Oberlander has very generously put up online for anyone to play with:
(there's a "downloads" link on the right side of the page)

He's going to be putting up some updated characters soon with a GUI overhaul, some new squash/stretch stuff, and assorted other goodies, but the rigs are already really powerful and ready to be played with, so hop over there and get downloadin'! Be sure to tell Tim hello, and it'd be extra-great if you could credit him in any work you might use it for...

You know, writing that post get me thinking, and I just want to comment quickly on one more thing. Some people are apparently feeling like it's ok to steal our Animation Mentor characters and use them in their demo reels, or recreate models that look very similar to our characters.
Obviously, this is very misleading for recruiters (who, by the way, react *VERY* negatively to finding out they've been misled... Putting that stuff on a demo reel is certainly NOT the best way to get a job, I'll say that much), and it also hurts our students who have worked hard to be able to be a part of Animation Mentor in a variety of ways.

If you've recreated our characters, I'd encourage any of you change the designs and colors at least enough to not look like blatant ripoffs of our student's characters. While it's very flattering to think that you like our designs this much, it has the potential to hurt your demo reel with recruiters just as much as it may hurt our school's image, and my true dream for all of you is to get to experience a career in this art I so love.

We try very hard to put as much free animation information out there as we possibly can, and this blog is just one of the many ways we try to do that. It'd be great to not feel like people are taking advantage of us...

I know that the vast majority of you would never do something like this, but I just wanted to throw it out there because it came up again recently in a couple ways and it just bums me out.

We're legally obligated to protect our character designs (if a company doesn't make strong efforts to protect their copyrights, they can lose them), and we SO don't want to be one of those companies out there hunting down copyright infringements... ugh - it's such a waste of time, and just not what we're here to do.

So... if this isn't too naive, can I just ask nicely that you please avoid ripped of AM characters and instead use any of the gajillion free characters out there to play with (such as Tim's!), or create your own?

Creating your own is INFINITELY better anyway, as it can really make your demo reel stand out!

Thanks, everyone!


Alonso said...

other resources for free rigs

but honestly, this Basic Guy rig is one of the best out there, I'm surprised it's not used more. Andre De Villiers did a great entry for 11sec last august

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Hey Alonso, thanks for the plug! I've been a bit behind in terms of updating animationbuffet, but updates do happen every few weeks or so.

mattanimation said...

Thanks! I've been looking for some new rigs.

Rick O'Meara said...

I am currently studying at Animation Mentor, and have reviewed demo reels at my work as well. The knock-off versions of AM characters are so bad that they really shouldn't fool anyone.

If people are looking for a comparable rig to AM rigs, I'd go with Moom off of Highend 3D. He's appealing, very malleable and comes with a GUI picker.

Anirudh said...

thanks for addressing the issue of "ripped AM rigs" Shawn, it was high time and its not done for people to blatantly copy the same char design, colors, etc as its totally unfair to the students of AM.

The least they can do is just change the color, but yes not using it altogether is the best way.

Nobody can fool the recruiters thinking that by using a "similar" rig, they can pretend they are from AM and up their chances. Sorry folks you gotta accept the facts.

Philip Crow said...

I think the am-rip-off-rig (since no one is calling it's actual name out) has called a lot of attention to itself and in a very bad way. There are plenty of good rigs out there that are a unique design, it was foolish to make the rig-that-shall-not-be-named so similar to the am one. anyways, that basic guy rig is impressive.

I think though, that the am-rip-off-rig should just be ignored instead of getting so much attention drawn to it. I for one will not use it nor recommend anyone else use it. It seems like it would be much more gratifying to rig a unique/fresh/original character that is their own.

rant out.


boppi said...

Shawn. my god i'll never put any rigs in my demoreel which similar
to animation mentor rigs.i'll also
tell this to my friends to not to use your rigs.


Shawn Kelly said...

Hi, Copper!

The truth is, no one is going to care much what you study other than animation, when you're applying for an animation job. They will be primarily looking at your demo reel, and will likely only even look at your resume if the reel knocks their socks off.

However, the study of animation truly is the study of behavior and life and art - so pretty much anything you study will be useful at some point to an animator!!

To answer your quesiton, though, the most directly useful things I think you could study are probably: Life Drawing (for me, this was the most useful, by a mile), and also Anatomy, Film, Composition/Staging, and Film Editing.

In the meantime, there's no reason to wait for getting started with your animation education! Keep checking out blogs like this one, read books, put your own animation up on forums like CG-CHAR and the 11 Second Club for feedback from other animators, etc.

Good luck!

shawn :)

Unknown said...

Hi i wouldn't like to use a character that looks the same as these ones either but does anyone know where to find a tutorial that will help me set up my rig like the animation mentor ones they look so easy to use and manipulate. I heard this kind of rig is almost what industry uses anyway?

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