One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that it’s important to share your ideas as much as possible.  That’s how innovation happens.  It’s how things progress.  It’s how we learn.  I’ve never been afraid to put my own ideas out there because I know I’ll get back more in return.

As soon as I released my DVDs on character rigging, I started seeing them pop up on warez & pirating sites.  People have been sharing them with friends, downloading them from various locations, burning dvds, etc.  While it directly takes away from my own pocket, there’s nothing I can do to stop it so I don’t stress about it.

I figure, as long as people are out there using this stuff, then it’s a good thing.  If they really appreciate it, then maybe someday they’ll send me a thank you email, or a postcard, or 10 bucks, or whatever.  Or they’ll tell others to go buy my stuff.  Or they’ll buy me a beer at siggraph.

Today I got an email from someone who actually created an automated way to create the “Animator Friendly Rigging” rig that I developed for the AFR series dvds.

Automated “Animator Friendly Rigging” – Free Character Scripts / Plugins Downloads for Maya.

Some people would probably think that I’d be offended by this, or ask him to take it down.  After all, they’re techniques I developed, right?  This stuff contains scripts that should really only be available through the DVD series.  It’s my intelectual property he’s messing with!

But I’m not, I’m actually quite stoked that he liked my stuff enough to spend the time to try and automate it.  It means that my ideas aren’t nuts and that they’re worth following.

My whole point of the DVDs wasn’t to say “this is the be-all end-all of rigging technology”, but to say “hey.. this is how I like to THINK about rigging.  You should, too!”

If you just download this script and create a rig with it.. yeah, you’ll have a pretty sweet rig with lots of functionality.  But you won’t have learned the point of the DVD, and that’s how to THINK about rigging.

So, here’s what I say.. download the tool.  Try it out.  See how you like the rig.  If you dig it, or at least intrigued by it.. then go purchase the DVD and see why certain choices were made.  Learn about the process, because in the end.. THAT’s what you need to do to be a good character td.


16 Responses to Automated “Animator Friendly Rigging” – Free Character Scripts / Plugins Downloads for Maya

  1. bcazzell says:

    I bought the whole series a couple of years ago and it was worth every penny, precisely *because* it got me thinking about the hows and whys of rigging.

  2. I love the animator friendly rigging series. Just like you said, it really gives you a great way to THINK about rigging, not just ‘do this, do that, click this, click that’ like many other rigging tutorials.
    The crazy part about this, is that I JUST recommended the series to a friend, less than 24 hours ago, and told him it’s well worth the money if you can find it (I always had trouble finding where the hell to download it from! Your site? Autodesk? seems like Autodesk – but I’ve had trouble finding it on their site in the past…).
    And now, less than 24 hours later you go and post about it again, as well as the link for more info and how to buy it. Weird.

  3. jason says:

    Thanks guys! That’s what I always hoped, was that people would learn from it. 🙂

  4. TJ Phan says:

    Hi Jason,

    I just wanted to chime in to say that it is so true when you say it’s more important to know why certain decisions are made than to just follow formulas. A former instructor told me that a while back and it always stuck.

    I also wanted to take a moment to say thanks for all the years of inpiration and positive energy!

    (…and I did buy the AFR series a while back btw:))


  5. Kai Pedersen says:

    Fantastic response Jason and I absolutely agree having your AFR and Fast rigs DVD’s, that the gold in your tutorials wasn’t the final rig, great as they are, but learning the though process problem solving, ideals and goals in creating a rig.

    The AFR series especially goes into great depth exploring possible ways t do things and how you came to your setups and the Why’s behind it, and that really is the value.

    Great work by both you and of course Mr.Farhan, its uses like you guys that make this industry so great to work in.

  6. Robert Young says:

    I’ve been meaning to purchase this for months and finally pulled the trigger. Thanks a ton Jason! I’m going to need this when I start working on my short film this fall.

  7. Lars says:

    he steals your stuff and you don’t get angry… you must be the rigging buddha.

  8. Dhananjay kumar says:

    Hey Your animator friendly rigging is superb………….many many thanks to you for creating this.

  9. joe says:

    Great thinking! Even though seems like you sure need the money for your time spent on building the dvds.

    Hope life is been good to ya! 🙂

  10. manish says:

    you are awesome !!

  11. Shivaram says:

    ur my inspiration

  12. Mike Milo says:

    Hi Jason,
    I tried the link you provided to buy the dvds but it goes to a 404 page at Autodesk. Got another link?

  13. Mike Milo says:

    @Mike Milo

    Uh nevermind… I saw them on Lulu now. Sorry, I was on my Evo 4g when I was browsignt eh site and it’s not as easy as a computer.

  14. Mike F says:

    I have bought every single Jason Schleifer learning tool I could get my hands on. With Autodesk Subscription all the AFRs are “freely” downloadable the last time I checked. I say “freely” because you are actually paying for it when you purchase Autodesk Subscription for Maya.

    Of extreme value for me in the series was the explanation of rotation order and why you should/would change it.

  15. Dennis says:

    Nice !

    I´m making some rigging tutorials and it is just great to see that you can “create” a bit 🙂 I will look at bit more into this script.

  16. Tamila says:

    Yup, I imagine that the cuhors of people asking the same things over and over, or worse, complaining that feature X isn’t done yet could be pretty draining. When I’ve spent days building a backend and upon showing someone the first comment I get is ‘I don’t like the colour’ I feel it is grounds for justifiable homicide. And I only have to do this in front of handfuls of people at a time, not in front of the entire interweb (yikes).You do a great job on sites like osnews and the dot of answering peoples questions / queries / tangential brain farts but perhaps it might be safer to have ‘official message board champions’ or some such who could soak up some of that repetitive head -vs- wall work. The person called ‘superstoned’ does a good job on osnews for example (and nope, thats not me 😉 I’m not yet that self aggrandizing). Might help save you from a bit of the spirit crushing…

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