Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Meet the Yellow Beetle - Free Maya Rig!

Yellow Beetle by Aaron Parker
Our animation students have been having fun animating with this free Yellow Beetle rig created by Aaron Parker - and available for free download at

Like most free rigs (and, indeed, like most rigs) it has some flaws and quirks, but you can do some really fun animation with it.

So how does this rig work, and how should our students get the most out of it?

What's this rig all about?
The Beetle rig is a great way to get some fun, cartoony vehicle animation into your demo reel. It squashes and stretches nicely, and you can make it bounce and sway as it chugs along. Although you might need to stick a driver behind the wheel on a close-up or medium shot, the Beetle can be made to have a personality all of its own.

Why bother with animating vehicles?
Go and see any Hollywood action film these days and you will see tons of stunt car animation. There is plenty of work for animators who can bring things like cars, helicopters and robots to life in a convincing and believable way.

Tendency to crash
Note that the rig has a tendency to crash whenever you try to keyframe the main mover control. Save your work often!

Does it scale? 
No. This rig does not scale. This means you will have to scale your geometry (such as your set and props) instead.

The control curves have a tendency to disappear
If the controls disappear, the solution is to go to display/show/all - this will bring them back. You may have to do this often.

The textures do not display in the viewport in Maya 2015 and up
Solution: Click on the lighting tab and select Two Sided Lighting. Under the Render drop-down menu, select Legacy Default Viewport.

Who made this rig?
Thanks to the very talented Aaron Parker for creating such a great rig for the Maya community to enjoy and practice their craft.

What is the License Type?

Where can I download it?
To find the Yellow Beetle, you can download the rig here at

To see some fun animation done with this rig, check out the superb animation below by Lee Caller, one of our occasional visiting tutors at Escape Studios.

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. We train all our animators with practical real-world skills, to give them the best possible chance of a career in industry. To see our success stories, follow this link.

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