Blog Post news update

Introducing Maya 2020 Rigging Features

New rigging features to note, we are putting notes that might get overlooked here from the 2020 Maya Docs so people can focus on just the rigging updates.

Cached Playback whitepaper: For riggers, TDs, and plug-in authors who want to understand the Cached Playback architecture so they can benefit from recent performance enhancements in Maya, we’ve provided more comprehensive explanations of Cached Playback in the Maya Cached Playback whitepaper.

Maya Help: Matrix operators

New rivet tool follicle replacements
Maya Help: Create a Rivet (The Rivet command lets you attach locators directly to a deforming mesh. )

Changes to Maya’s transformation model

A new matrix input, parentOffsetMatrix, has been added to all Transform-derived nodes to simplify the Dependency Graph (DG) and directed acyclic graph (DAG) graphs.

Why we care…watch this video and then keep going.

The addition of this attribute also enables advanced new Matrix-driven workflows:

  • keeps translation, rotation, and scale channels on driven transforms unpopulated and available for animation
  • reduces the number of DG and DAG nodes and connections riggers need to create
  • lets you define the position of a node when its transform attributes are zeroed out
  • reduces computational overhead and simplifies editing in the node editor

Currently in Maya, most constraint computation is matrix math, the result of which is decomposed to scale, rotation, and translation values that are then used to drive other transforms. This leads to extra complexity in the graph and excessive computation.

The offsetParentMatrix is inserted in the transform model after the parent matrix and acts as an offset to its own parent matrix. This new attribute lets you skip the expensive decomposition/composition step. It has the added benefit of leaving the driven transform’s scale, rotation, and translation channels available for animation. This process reduces the number of DAG and DG nodes riggers need to create in rigs.

This is great but how do you split out this information when needed? Enter the Pick Matrix Node to change what the offsetParentMatrix looks at, Scale, Rotate, Translate to make a more powerful “parent” constraint.

And here is a bit deeper look at the Matrix information and how to explore and use it.
Matrix Widget

And just for fun…they have added a MotionBuilder-style X-ray toggle to cycle through rig display, rig accordingly.

Press Alt + A to cycle through different X-ray modes

Cycle rig display mode is a shortcut that lets you press Alt + A to cycle between joints, controls, and character using the Cycle rig display mode hotkey. (You can also access these modes through the Shading Panel menu.)

Blog Post Course Announcement news update

Announcing: MRS Makers Workshop – CG Monastery

3 spots left to get the unlocked character rig mDrake
3 spots left to get the unlocked character rig mDrake

We are updating this post with a bit more about the MRS system

What is MRS?

The Morpheus Rig System (MRS) is a python based modular framework and toolset for the creation of high quality creature and character rigs for Autodesk Maya. The fully-customizable rigs can be built for anything from a Unity mobile app to a full feature rig.

MRS uses a template system under which small rig modules are snapped together and fitted to the character model. These templates are used to generate the controls, wiring and structures of our rigs. The templates can be reconfigured and reused for multiple characters with differing proportions.

Every rig created with MRS is fully integrated into the a wider toolset to provide a full rigging and animation pipeline for studios of any size.

What makes it special?

  • Easily Customizable Templates – Simple dags where possible let us easily move things around when we’re making changes to a setup
  • Proxy Rig workflow – The way we use lofts in our setup lets us generate decent looking rough characters rapidly
  • Animator Friendly Rigs – We’re animators and we make rigs we want to use
  • Rapid Iteration – Ability to quickly try new ideas once you have the fundamentals down
  • Built for keeping rigs up to date – Scarecrow setup lets us easily roll in new rig features
  • Easy to Integrate Into Any Pipeline – Clean heirarchies and a wide array of tools means our clients rarely have issue getting our assets into their pipelines
  • Game Engine Ready – We’re building to be Unity complient and doing some Unreal work as well
  • Maya nodes – Not using custom nodes means our rigs open and work without special setups

Modular Design For Easy Extensibility – We want the system to expand so we’ve designed it to be as open as possible

Guest Post : Source: Announcing: MRS Makers Workshop – CG Monastery

Register and Buy here

If you’ve seen the Griffin or other proxy rigs we’ve been showing around and wondered how you might make something like that or if you’ve tried mDrake and would like to rig your own characters with the same setup. Here’s your chance!

We’re excited to announce the MRS Makers Workshop.

We’ve gotten a fair bit of requests from many of you interested in learning MRS. It’s taken a little time to figure out the best way to do this and we think we have a pretty good plan. We’re partnering with our friends at Rigging Dojo to facilitate this session.

What are the details:

  • Purpose
    Teach students how to use MRS to begin building their own rigs for their own projects.
  • When does it start?
    We’re scheduled to begin January 6th
  • What’s the content?
    • How to use MRS and the cgmToolbox in your own project pipelines
    • We’ll rig a quadruped from scratch
    • A biped from a starting template
    • Cover some some more advanced topics
    • Includes a six month subscription here on the Monastery to keep up to date with changes to MRS and have a voice and/or hand in where it goes from here. (all other perks as well – Morpheus for Unity content, rigs, etc)
  • How much?
    Regular price is $350 for one of these sessions. We’re offering a $150 discount through sign ups on December 31st. You’ll get a code during the process. Don’t forget to put it in!
  • Duration?
    Estimated 4-6 weeks. We’re going to get through the content. If it takes a little longer, we’re not going to say it’s done because of an artificial deadline.
  • FAQ
    • I don’t have any idea what MRS (Morpheus Rigging System) is …. You can check out a few links:
    • Will you cover facial blocks? Not in this first class. Those modules are pretty rough as they’re brand new. They work but need iteration. The other blocks have months of testing in them.

If this content proves popular enough we’ll continue adding modules like:

  • Rigging a Face with MRS
  • Expanding MRS – Making new modules

-Josh Burton


Our Spring Newsletter is going to be huge

Hey everyone,
Keep an eye out for our Spring newsletter, it’s going to be full of offerings and info!

Intro to Photoshop Scripting

We’ll be launching an on demand course with over 3 hours of video content. It’s designed to get you up and running quickly with Photoshop scripting.

Agile Development

We’ll be asking for volunteers for interviews on Agile development topics. We do not have course for that yet. So we’re looking for people to jump on a call to discuss their interest in Agile Development. Especially any needs they have as related to Tech Art and Game Development.

Coaching Program

This program has been in development since the end of 2017, and we’re excited to open it up. Space is limited, and more info will be in the newsletter. “Soft Skills”, Leadership and Creativity are the forefront of this program. This program is intense and requires deep conversations about your goals and the things blocking you from them. A note from one of the beta testers of the Coaching Program:
“With most courses teaching technical skills, this course focusing on leadership and mindset is a breath of fresh air to the education of our industry. It gave me guidance on my goals and helped harness the leadership skills needed to advance my career.”


We’re also launching a podcast! We’re release just one or two a week, and each will be less than ten minutes. Hence the micro in microcast. Our format will be news of the week, and answering your questions!
We’re looking forward to sharing this and more near the end of April.
Blog Post Course Announcement news

griffinanimation: Python 101 On Demand at The Rigging Dojo

Source: griffinanimation: Python 101 On Demand at The Rigging Dojo

Sign up Here:
View the syllabus HERE


Also be sure to check out and give some support and love to helping Ryan give kids a creative edge and be content creators not just consumers.

“You might also want to take a look at another project I’ve been working on.  Do you remember those three kids I mentioned? Well I love teaching so much, I thought I may as well try to teach my kids how to animate, write code, make games, and do other artsy things. I also thought some of you might enjoy joining us on the adventure so I’m posting our process, finished pieces, and a bunch of rambling about being a good parent and junk. Check that out here.  You can also visit our YouTube channel or our Facebook Page.  Thanks for taking a peak.”


Blog Post news rigtip

Cult of Rig

This is going to be a must watch source so spread the word and show support and follow Raf on Twitter

We have had Raf on our A.I.R video series and he showed us all a glimpse of how he thinks about rigging and performance, this new stream looks to be a PHD level of learning depth aimed at all skill levels.

“Join the Cult”


Cult of Rig is a series about character rigging based on first principles, intended to show how to produce high performance, feature rich rigs from absolute scratch.

Everything needed will be covered on a per-need basis as we go, in a very accessible manner, with little technical know-how required to join; from mathematics to programming to how DCC software works under the hood, as well as anatomy and kinesiology (much) later on.”

Broadcast times: