rigtip update

Why do I 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

Blog Post

Compiling C++ Plugins for Maya


Get a taste for the basics of plugin compiling from Raf and The Cult Of Rig then check out our courses both the Maya C++ API 101 mentor led course and our more advanced 201 on demand plugin coding course.



You can also check out our free API compiling guide book to pair with the Cult of Rig video.

Blog Post rigtip tutorial video

Mocap Online – Motionbuilder UE4 Root Motion Animation Retargeting

Something that comes up often is dealing with hip vs root bone motion and having to either add or remove it to work with diffrent game engines or mix and match move sets. If you are a AAA team and have tech artists and experienced editors it is a challenge but if you are an independent game studio or a lone artist, this might simply be impossible as was the case for the people who reached out to us.

I passed this on to Crispin and he worked up a great and clear tutorial on how to get motion ready for Cry Engine using their Motus Mocap online animations.

Click the image and check out the video on their blog post


Motionbuilder Tutorial - UE4 Root Motion Retargeting


A Motionbuilder tutorial discussing how to re-target animations from one character to another, and transfer the full Root motion correctly and accurately – even if there is a scale difference between the two rigs.

INDEX is below to jump directly to any section. The question came up on the Autodesk forums. Shout out to Brad Clark with Rigging Dojo, our friends at Crytek and CryEngine, and Epic and the Unreal Engine.
INDEX: 0:00 Introduction
01:49 Basics – Settings, Extensions, Constraints and Match Source
07:41 Plotting and Results
08:16 Scaling – Why do it and problematic results.
12:25 Some things are simpler than they first seem… Doh
13:40 Scaling – The Simple Fix and Results
17:00 Vertical Root Motion – Yes it works, an example.
19:57 Plot All Takes and Editing afterwards.

Rigging Dojo –
CryEngine –
Unreal Engine –


If you are needing more MotionBuilder training and help you can check out our other free tips and tutorials, dig in with our paid on-demand workshop or get custom studio training and consulting like Epic Games, EA and Sony have (contact us for information).



rigtip tutorial video

Skinning Rigtip for a little known tool

Move Weights tool, a little known tool that you should be using to make skinning easier and allow for added control in a pinch. TDs can use it to speed up skinning by copying good weighting to new joints for twist, like shoulders to a few new twist joints in the upper arm for example.

Mesh and Rig from AnimRig – Amazing Spiderman – Free Download

Rig free from that we used for this #rigTip video.


Blog Post rigtip tutorial video

Cult of Rig : Season 00 Day 010 Finishing Pedals and GodNode Components

Season 00 Day010 Stream – Finishing Pedals and GodNode Components


Pilot Season – Download


Rigging Dojo Notes:

This week we are not doing much of a breakdown, there are many details and things that you simply have to watch through the video to understand and get the most from. We will pick out a few things that we want to explain or highlight. Enjoy!

God node (Master control)

  • Drive the whole rig but doesn’t have to be in world space
  • top_top_world_ node, hidden, used by only shot final, this is the world space of your rig, the GodNode would be under it

Building the component

cult of rig god node hiearchy

  • Building a non-cyclic constraint

Connecting the God Node component in to the rig

there is a good few bits of trouble caused by the node editor not being set to sync… jump to here to see the hook up of the offset nodes

Maya name space : “underworld” and all the connective nodes between SRT nodes get assigned that name space.

On to the next video!



Get involved:

Scene used to display the functions is available at:…
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