Download this Free
Run Cycle Video Tutorial
How to animate a run cycle step by step
Looking for the best free Maya rigs?
You're in the right 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.
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.
(By Ugur Ulvi Yetiskin)
Ultimate Ball, Tailed, Pendulum, and Ultimate Walker. An all in one fundamentals rig package
(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
(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?
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:
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Price Range: $40)
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.
(Price Range: $10)
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.
(Price Range: $14-$60 for bundles)
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!?
(Price Range: $5 -10)
If you want to confidently start going after your Dream Job this year...
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.