Tag Archives: Maya

Maya 2012

Autodesk® Maya® 3D computer animation software delivers an end-to-end creative workflow with comprehensive tools for animation, 3D modeling, visual effects, 3D rendering, and compositing on a highly extensible production platform. Autodesk® Maya® 2012 software delivers new features and toolsets for previsualization and games prototyping, extended simulation capabilities, and improved pipeline integration. It delivers viewport and sequencer enhancements, node-based render passes, editable motion trails, and a new library of 80 Substance procedural textures.

Viewport 2.0 Enhancements

Node-Based Render Passes

Editable Motion Trails

Sequencer Enhancements

Substance Procedural Textures

Craft Animation Tools

Enhanced, Multi-Product Animation Workflows

New Simulation Options

Rigging 101


Javier Solsona (a.k.a. Goosh) is a wandered, a traveler, a “Citizen of the World”. He was born in Argentina and grew up in Patagonia. From an early age, he started doing graphics on his Commodore 64 at home, painstakingly painting pixel by pixel. Many years later still in front of a computer he got a B.Sc. in Computer Sciences from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. During his last year at university in 1995, he was introduced to Multimedia and 3D and there was no looking back ever since.After finishing his degree, he moved to Brazil where he carried on studying 3D animation on his spare time while taking part on various 3D courses. Later, he moved to London, UK where he worked for three years as a freelance graphic artist for various hi-tek companies including Cisco Systems.

He finally moved to Vancouver, BC where after working for a year as a creative director in a small company, decided to leave his secure position and go back to school to complete his education. He studied for six intense months at the Vancouver Film School in their Character Animation program. After his completion, he was awarded a scholarship for his efforts in his final film.

Once out of school, he got a position at Lost Boys Studios in Vancouver working on their 3D department as a visual effects artist doing Commercial Ads, Game Cinematics and Music Videos. Later on, he made the jump to EA Canada. He was one of the cinematic animators on DefJam Vendeta, DefJam Fight for NY and in-game animator on SSX on Tour. He moved on to Propaganda Games, a Disney Interactive Studio, as the lead Creature Technical Director where he worked on the new instalment of Turok.

He can now be found at DreamWorks working as a character TD on Shrek4 and other upcoming movies.

On his spare time, when he is not climbing mountains, he does freelance jobs in rigging and animation. Outside of work, Javier is an avid traveler, photographer, skier, and kite-boarder. His photography work can be found in www.javiersolsona.com


None of the rigs, tutorials or scripts may be used for business purposes without specific prior written permission. They are available for free and personal use only.


GreatDane – Facial (modeled by Chris Baker)
The new GreatDane with the help of Jesse Davis who added the facial setup.
Download model (Maya 2008 and higher)
GreatDane (modeled by Chris Baker)
The Original Quadruped Rig built for the Autodesk MasterClass “Quadruped Animator Friendly Rigging”. Only the segmented mesh with the control rig is available. There is no smooth skin nor facial setup yet.
Download model (Maya 8 and higher)
PackageMan v1.2 How to use (PM modeled by Bob White)
Fully rigged character. Facial Setup, IK/FK spine, IK/FK arms and a whole lot more.
Download model (Maya 5 and higher)
Troll (Troll modeled by Kenn Klick)
Character ideal for animation. Comes fully with facial set-up, IK/FK amrs, IK/FK spine and the works.
Download model (Maya 4 and higher)
Super Gramps (SG modeled by William Vaughan)
Character and rig built in the “Zero to Hero” CD.
Download model (Maya 4 and higher)
IK-Joe (IK-Joe modeled by Daniel Martinez Lara)
Fully rigged character ready to be animated. IK/FK switching, Reverse Foot Lock, IK/FK Spine and more.
Download model (Maya 4 and higher)
IK-Joe v2
A similar, yet different rig to IK-Joe v1 for those that feel comfortable with other controllers. This version is a little bit more advanced and comes with an additional facial setup.
Download model (Maya 5) [Download model for Maya 4.5]
IK-Joe v3
Yet another different rig for IK-Joe. This version has a very nice, simple yet advanced facial setup, plus quite a few new goodies.
Maker sure to read the PDF file for some insight on v3.
Download model (Maya 5)
IK-Joe XSI (Rigged by Stefan Anderson)
Stefan Andersson made available his XSI version of the popular IK-Joe. This time for XSI users.
Download model (XSI 3.5.1)
Fully rigged character ready to be animated. IK/FK switching, Reverse Foot Lock, IK/FK Spine and more. The ideal companion for Ik-Joe and the same setup as IK-Joe v2.
Download model (Maya 5) [Download model for Maya 4.5]


How to use Utility Nodes
Utility nodes can be an incredible thing to master. They might look scary and confusing in the beginning but once…
Go to tutorial
Solid knee in IK leg.
You need a solid IK knee twist so that the character can do flips and any kind of movement without the knee causing any problems
Go to tutorial
Working with Expressions and Constrains
Expressions and constrains are extremely powerful and a riggers closest friend…
Go to tutorial
Reverse Foot Lock
The Reverse Foot Lock setup is an external set of bones that drive the foot of a character…
Go to tutorial
IK/FK Switching
IK/FK switching set-up is mainly used for the arms. But it can be implemented in other parts of the body, like the feet…
Go to tutorial
Spine Setup
This spine set-up will give you quite a bit of control by keeping things really simple.
Go to tutorial
Elastic Foot using Expressions
Cartoon animation looks great with some squash and stretch. To be able to ‘stretch’ bones you need a set-up that can handle ‘elasticity’
Go to tutorial
Elastic Foot using Nodes
This tutorial differs from the above one in that it’s built using nodes instead of expressions.
Go to tutorial
Cartoony Eye
This tutorial shows how to create a cartoon eye that is not spherical and can have any shape and size that you want.
Go to tutorial


rig101 List Utilities
This script will create a window listing the most significant Maya utility nodes, such as the condition, the multiplyDivide and the setRange.
Download script
rig101 LocknHide
This script will help you control the keyable and non-keyable attribues in your channel box as well as being able to lock and unlock them.
Download script
rig101 Wire Controllers
Creates wire controllers to use as manipulators
Download script
rig101 Template Objects
Templates or untemplates the objects selected
Download script
rig101 Multiple Influence
This simple script let’s you select multiple influence objects and add them to your smooth skin instead of doing them one by one.
Download script


What to put on a Creature TD Reel
Some DOs and DONTs on what to put on a creature TD reel.
Go to document

Freeze Transformations

Whenever applying dynamic simulations like rigid body dynamics to an object, you should freeze it’s transformations because simulations like these use transformation information. Select the object and go to modify>freeze transformations. Now go to edit>delete by type>history, with the object selected. This tip is not relevant when working with nCloth because nCloth does not use an objects transformations.


Converts the existing polygon selection to quadrangles.
Mesh > Quadrangulate >  

The following are the options for the Quadrangulate feature

Angle threshold

Use the slider or type a value to set the limit beyond which two triangles are merged or not (where the limit is defined by the angle between the face normals of adjacent triangles). If Angle Threshold is 0, only co-planar triangles are merged. The maximum angle is 180 degrees. A value of 180 degrees means that all possible pairs of adjacent triangles are converted into four-sided faces.


Keep face group border

Maintains the borders of face sets. When turned off, the borders of face sets can be modified. The default setting is on.


Keep hard edges

Maintains hard edges. If turned off, hard edges can be deleted between two triangles. The default setting is on.


Keep texture border

Maintains the borders of texture maps. When turned off, the borders of texture maps can be modified. The default setting is on.


World space coordinates

When turned on (default), the specified Angle Threshold value is the angle between the face normals of adjacent triangles in world space. When turned off, the Angle Threshold value is the angle between the face normals of adjacent triangles in local space.


Tip : I always turn off ALL of the ticked option boxes in the Quadrangulate option box. Works most of the time.

How to Set Up New Project




Set up New/Edit/Set Project by going up to

File –> Project –> New/Edit/Set

Maya Beginner Basics



1. Name: Name of your project

2. Location: Where the folder of the project will be stored

3. Click on Use Defaults. This will create all necessary folders within the project folder.

4. Click Accept.

Maya Beginner Basics



Within the Maya directory in MyDocuments, you’ll find the new project folder.

The two folders right now you should know are scenes and sourceimages.

scenes: maya files are stored here, of the scenes you are working with

sourceimages: textures that you will apply to your models

Maya Beginner Basics


Mia_roundcorners Shader

Final Product What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial, Ivan Krushkov walks us through how to use Maya’s mia_roundcorners shader to add a bevelled look to the edges of your model at render-time! Let’s take a look…

Step 1

To start off, first we need to make shure that Mental Ray renderer is enabled inside of Maya because mia_roundcorners is Mental Ray texture. If you’re using the scene file from this tutorial it will already be enabled for you, but if you are using your own scene make sure to turn it on by going to ‘Window -> Settings/Preferences -> Plug-in Manager

Step 2

Then scroll until you see ‘Mayatomr.mll’ and check ‘Loaded’ and then close the window

Step 3

Now select the second object and hold right click on it and select ‘Assign New Material…’

Step 4

Under the Maya section select ‘Surface’ and then at the right select the ‘Blinn’ material

Step 5

In the Attributes Editor of the material select the checkered button next to ‘Bump Mapping’

Step 6

If for some reason you can’t access the attributes for the material you can again right click and hold on the object and select ‘Material Attributes’

Step 7

After clicking on the ‘Bump Mapping’ button, in the window that comes up, under the mental ray section of shaders select the mia_roundcorners. This will place this texture shader in the bump slot of your material

Step 8

In the attributes for the mia_roundcorner you can start tweaking the ‘Radius’ attribute which will determine how much the corners of your objects will be smoothed. And if you wish to add bump map to your material without removing the mia_roundcorner, inside the node you can place the bump inside the ‘Bump’ slot of the mia_roundcorner

Step 9

If you now took a render of the scene you can see how the middle object has all of its sharp edges rounded in contrast to the left one

Step 10

The workflow to assign a mental ray material with the roundcorner shader is a little bit different than the one with a maya material. Select the third object and again right click and hold and go to ‘Assign New Material…’

Step 11

In the window that comes up under the mental ray section select the mia_material_x

Step 12

Again if you don’t see the material’s attributes you can right click on the object and select ‘Material Attributes…’

Step 13

Under the attributes for the material scroll down to the ‘Bump’ section and expand it. Then click on the checkered button next to ‘Overall Bump’

Step 14

Again in the window that comes up, under the mental ray section of shaders select the mia_roundcorners

Step 15

Now again we can tweak the radius to select the roundness of our edges. Let’s put ‘0.150’

Step 16

If you want now you can place additional bump map in the ‘Bump’ slot of the mia_roundcorners or in you material ‘Standard Bump’

Step 17

Here’s the final result you can see the right most object is now with rounded edges and you can compare it against the one without the mia_roundcorners shader applied to it