Free-Maya-Rigs

Free Maya Rigs – The Best Options For Your Skill Level

Looking for the free Maya rigs?

You’re in the best place.

The free Maya rigs listed here are sorted by quality as well as skill level.

This will save you countless hours of wasted time.

You see there are 1,000’s of other free Maya rigs out there but – when you’re trying to become a professional animator – the last thing you need is a poor quality rig that makes animating even more challenging than it already is.

So to help you get exactly what you need you’ll find my personal recommendations below.

And there are some premium rig recommendations at the end if you’re looking to get more serious at any point.

Disclaimer: These rigs were created by different artists. Each with their own terms and conditions. Read the terms before you download. 

Free Maya Rigs for the Basics


If your new to animation these are the rigs for you. They help keep you focused on the basic fundamentals without giving you to many controls to manage.

You may be tempted to jump ahead to a full body acting rig. Do so at your own peril. Its better to get a firm grip on the animation principles before moving on. At lot can be learned from just a bouncing ball.

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Ultimate Rigs
(By Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin)

Ultimate Ball, Tailed, Pendulum, and Ultimate Walker. An all in one fundamentals rig package

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Flour Sack
(By Joe Daniels)

An 2D old school teaching favorite. It’s a simple way to learn how to make a character emotion through posing, and how to add weight without a lot of complicated appendages

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Juicebox
(By Joe Daniels)

Another old school teaching favorite. The juice box is very similair to the flour sack but it adds a bit of extra versatility with a straw. Is it an arm? Is it part of his face? Both?

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Squirrel
(By Animation Mentor)

Teaches you overlap and whip action with a ball.

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Flying Fox
(By High End 3D)

Same deal as the squirrel but more customizing options.

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Walking Battle Egg
(By Truong Rigs)

A robot rig that keeps it simple but lets you practice all the basics in an exciting new way

Free Maya Rigs for Advanced Mechanics


If you’ve got a good handle on the basics and you feel ready to animate a full body character (spine, arms, legs) here you go.

This section of free Maya rigs will keep you focused on just learning physical movement. This way you won’t be tempted to do dialogues or facial animation while you hone your skills with weight and snap.

Their great for Locomotion exercises like:

  • Jumping
  • Slipping on ice
  • Pushing a heavy object
  • Lifting a heavy object
  • Parkour
  • And so on…
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Stewart
(By Animation Mentor)

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Ultimate Bony and Beefy
(By Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin)

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Hotel T. Zombie
(By Sony Pictures)

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Tre Vital Rig Pack
(By Tre Vital Rigs)

These are styled very distinctly – with clearly unique characters. Especially excellent for a game studio focused demo reel.

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Judy Hopps
(By Mahmoud Youssef)

Ever wanted to animate a character from Disney’s Zootopia?

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World Zombination
(By Sterling Reames)

Who doesn’t like more zombie options? This bundle takes it to the next level. You not only get zombies of all types but humans as well. A great versatile bunch of mechanics rigs in all shapes and sizes.

Free Maya Rigs for Advanced Acting


Advanced Acting rigs are for animators that already know how to move a character around very smoothly.

At this stage your main concerns should be emotion, story, and entertainment.

  • What kind of move will sell the emotion I’m going for?
  • How will my character move to enhance the story?
  • Is this story entertaining enough? (for more on entertainment click here)
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Ray
(By CG Tarian)

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Mery
(By Mery Project Team)

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Malcolm
(By Animschool)

Free Maya Rigs for Quadrupeds


High quality Quadruped rigs are hard to come by. Typically there are odd deformations or a lack of extra controls like stretch to make the most of each rig.

Here are the best free ones around. . Though, with creature rigs especially, consider the premium options at the end as well.

Regarding skill level – it should go without saying. Don’t mess with these quads until you have a solid understanding of human body mechanics.

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Nico
(High End 3D)

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Wolfdog
(
High End 3D)

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Dragon Rig
(By Truong Rigs)

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Lily and Snout
(By Artella and Sketch Fab)

Sketch Fab and Artella created a VR short seen here: LINK

Then they released the 2 characters used in the short for free. Check out our Podcast with Artella’s Founder here: LINK

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Bunny Eater
(By Truong Rigs)

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Leopard
(By Truong Rigs)

A realistic looking rig – ideal for a VFX focused demo reel or just trying to learn what big cat locomotion is like.

Other Free Maya Rigs


High-End 3D has a massive selection of free character rigs. Just make a free an account and you can start downloading. Though before you do, keep in mind that the quality of the rigs varies quite a bit compared to the ones mentioned above. And that’s why a lot of them are not directly linked here.

High-End 3D also offers some great free scripts to help you animate – plus a lot of premium products as well.

Animation Prop Closet is just what it sounds like. A closet full of free rigged props to use for your animations. There’s not a massive selection so you may have to get creative.

Premium Maya Rigs


If your up for spending a couple bucks to get some fantastic rigs – these premium options have a lot to offer without asking for much. Definitely consider this if your creating new shots specifically for your demo reel.

Body Mechanics Rig Mega Pack
(By Joe Daniels)

This Pack is phenomenal for anyone learning mechanics or doing demo pantomime shots. Simple, yet packed with all the extra controls you could ask for like IK/FK 1 frame swap.  And the characters come in all shapes and sizes.

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(Price Range: $40)

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(Price Range: $10)

Long Winter Studios Membership Bundle
(By Long Winter Studios)

A $10/month  membership gives you access to their entire library of 40 character rigs. Plus you’ll automatically get all future releases and you can cancel anytime.

mRigs
(by mRigs)

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These rigs have a beautiful simplicity – perhaps more than any other mentioned here. The big shapes without super defined features can be a real advantage. Animators can focus 100% on their craft, and let the fundamentals shine.

Viewers won’t be caught up by the style as much as they will story – the power of the animation. And there are a variety of bipeds and quadrupeds rigs offered at a very affordable rate.


 

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(Price Range: $5-10)

Truong Rigs

Obviously, Truong offers a lot of fantastic free rigs – as some were mentioned above. But there are several premium rigs offered as well. And they cost no more than $10!?

Josh Sobel 

Arc the Dragon and Kayla offer a unique appeal compared to some of the other characters out there.

If cute is what your after – check these out.

Free-Maya-Rigs-Arc-the-dragon

(Price Range: $10-18)

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