Monday, 20 March 2017

Meet Raa!

One of the rigs that we recommend for learning creature animation is the Raa Spider Rig.

Raa is free, and can be downloaded at  He is an eight-legged arachnid, perfect for learning creature locomotion.

Like most rigs, Raa has his quirks. So how can our students get the very best out of Raa?

Who created Raa?
Raa was created by radheshatlar and can be downloaded for free at

What is the license?
The license is freeware, which means students are free to download Raa and use it to study and learn animation. In theory, it means Raa can be used for commercial purposes too - but you might want to check with its creator first just to be sure.

Why can't I turn off the control curves on Raa's feet?
The control curves on Raa's feet are polygons (normally, control curves are created using NURBS). This means that if you turn off polygons in the viewport to make the controls disappear, you will also lose Raa's body. To solve this problem, shift select all the control curves on Raa's feet and add them to a layer in the Layer Editor. When you render a playblast, turn the visibility off in the layer tab. Now you won't see Raa's controls. 

Raa looks a bit low poly - is there a smooth mode?
There is. Select the world control (the big circle) and set smooth to 1 in the Channel Box

Can Raa be scaled up and down?
No. There is no scale feature on the Raa rig.

Where are Raa's eyes?
Raa doesn't come with eyes as such, but you can make some eyes yourself by simply creating two spheres and attaching them to his head control. Apply a Phong shader, make it black and shiny and - hey presto - Raa has eyes.

What kind of animation can I do with Raa?
Plenty.  Raa is an excellent rig, easy to get the hang of.  To see some of the great work that can be done with Raa, check out the video below by Lee Caller, one of our guest tutors at Escape. It's clear from this shot that Lee has looked up live action reference of how real spiders behave, going beyond a simple walk cycle to create an engaging and entertaining performance.

And this one below by Escapee Giuseppe Candido is very nice too, with a cool VFX feel to it.


The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2017, follow this link.  To apply for our evening storyboarding class, starting on March 21st, follow this link.  We train all our students with practical real-world skills, to give them the best possible chance of a career in industry. To see some of our animation success stories, follow this link.

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