|Morpheus - endlessly flexible|
Animation is a complex craft to master and it's important to start off using the right tools. For student animators, it is best to avoid complex, production-ready rigs - they are simply too complicated for a beginner to master.
Below is a list of some of the best free animation rigs we recommend for student use, and where to find them.
|The Marvellous Monty|
We also recommend, for beginners, the excellent Pixo Jr rig, a copy of the Luxo lamp that made Pixar what it is today. Luxo is simple to use and great for learning motion cycles and even character performance.
|Morpheus by name, Morpheus by nature|
Animators can also consult the Resources page of The 11 Second Club. The Club runs a monthly animation competition, which we strongly recommend all our students enter. Their Resources page lists the rigs that they recommend, and we don't disagree with any of their picks. They are all solid and reliable, and deliver the goods when it comes to character performance and dialogue.
this blog post by LesterBanks, a few years old, but still a great list of fantastic free rigs available online.
Finally, don't forget Animation Buffet, which again lists some of the best free resources out there.
To be certain that your animation will come out OK, will need to test your rig extensively and make sure it can do everything you need. If necessary, get online and start asking questions in user forums. Not all rigs will do what you want them to. For example, if you are working on a dialogue shot, don't invest tons of time and effort in a rig that doesn't have good facial controls - you are simply wasting your time.
The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt starting in September 2016, follow this link. To apply, visit the offical page here.