rigtip update

Do I really need a Mentor?

Rig in to Spring, flowering tree here in Austin Texas with joints drawn over it in MAya

Are you better off without a mentor or coach?

Do you know who Toni Nadal is? He is the Uncle and Coach of Rafael Nadal, the famed tennis player. Rafael has won over 50 tournaments and an Olympic gold medal. He has made 60 million dollars in professional tennis.

Ronda Rousey, arguably the best fighter in the world—male or female. She didn’t get to this place alone and still before every fight, goes in to fight camp to improve and to work on weak areas and prepare.

What do you do?

Why do these world class professional athletes still need a coach?

We all need coaching to succeed. Success is relative for everyone, but hard work and proper coaching are the keys to achieve it.

The 10,000 hour rule popularized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” is only half the story in my opinion. What if you practice the wrong things for 10,000 hours? You’ll be good at doing the wrong things. This is why coaching is so important. The coach doesn’t take on some of those hours and labor for you, he or she points you to the best way to spend those 10,000 hours. The coach tells you what roadblocks you’ll encounter at what time. With the best ways to avoid or mitigate them as well.

Toni actually chose to practice on lousy courts with bad balls, just to teach young Rafael that winning or losing isn’t about good balls or courts or strings or lights. It’s about attitude, discipline, and perhaps most importantly, perspective … The latter is such a significant component precisely because perspective may be the hardest of all things to maintain once you hit a certain level in tennis.

We are all students and teachers

One of our ideas on perspective is that we are all students and teachers. At a Siggraph in the late 90’s Brad and I watched a presentation on the rigging for the film “Chicken Little”. The broken hierarchy approach they utilized blew us away. The rigs and animation seemed dynamic and fun. Recently, some of those folks have contacted us at Rigging Dojo to chat and discuss the future of rigging and educating TD’s. Full Circle.

We’ve learned a lot from our students in our Apprenticeships as well. Sometimes it’s a new technique, but it’s usually about how each individual approaches a problem.

We specialize in mentoring and coaching, we’ve been doing it for a long time at the top studios in the world. But we’re still learning from our students too. That is such an amazing gift.


The Nine Old Men at Disney knew the power of mentoring and they became guides, mentors and inspiration the next generation of artists.  Guess what, even these masters had continued education and coaching from Walt Stanchfield to become better artists. There are coaches for all topics in life, we all need help on our paths.

We started Rigging Dojo to help mentor, support and coach character TD’s and Technical Artists. If you want to explore learning with us, here’s how we can help you spend the next 9,900 hours working on the right things.

Ready to up your game, improve your work to get a raise, get a new job or work faster and smarter?

Apply now

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