Who the heck is this guy and does he ever just shut up?

Hah! If I had a dollar for every time I overheard someone talking to someone else about me like that, I’d buy us both a pony!

a nice one, too! maybe even a red one!

I’m just a mere mortal. one who likes to talk about pretty much anything that gets my blood pumping. Usually that means animation or computers or people or films or boogers.

Actually, I don’t talk about boogers all that much.

I like to keep that private.

other than that, by day I’m an animator.

By night, I’m a ninja who eats jelly doughnuts and grins at nothing in particular.

Every comment/post/rant/opinion expressed within these pages is only the opinion of the author, and does not reflect any employer, parent, guardian, or alien host of any kind.

Oh yeah.. and if you’re really bored, here are a couple of links to interviews…

Lord of the Rings



And if you really must have a resume..

From 1996 – 1999 I worked at Alias|Wavefront as an intern, support specialist, and product specialist, focusing on Maya, demoing Maya, and traveling the world speaking about Maya.

from 1999 – 2003 I worked on the Lord of the Rings trillogy. I started out as a character td, wrote the animation pipeline, and then transitioned to animation starting as an animator on film 1, senior animator on film 2, and animation lead on film 3.

In 2001 and 2002 I wrote two Master Classes on character rigging for Maya. Until recently they were available from the Autodesk website as the Jason Schleifer Rigging Bundle. I’m working to make them available again.

In 2002 I co-authored a Siggraph course on character rigging.

In 2004 I moved back to the states and began animating at PDI Dreamworks where I was promoted to Supervising Animator in 2007.

In 2008 I was promoted to Head of Character Animation for a film called Megamind, which is to be released in November, 2010.

After Megamind finished, I was Head of Character Animation for Megamind: The Button of Doom, and a supervising animator on Night of the Living Carrots. I’m currently getting ready to be Head of Character Animation for a new film coming out in 2014!

Film History

  1. New Project (to be released 2014) – Head of Character Animation
  2. Night of the Living Carrots – Supervising Animator
  3. Megamind – Head of Character Animation
  4. Madagascar 2 – Supervising Animator
  5. Monsters vs. Aliens – Preproduction Animator
  6. Shrek the Third – Senior Animator
  7. Over the Hedge – Senior Animator
  8. Penguins X-mas Caper – Senior animator
  9. Madagascar – Senior Animator
  10. Lord of the Rings – Return of the King – Animation Lead
  11. Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers – Senior Animator
  12. Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring – Animator


  1. Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa – Digital Media Arts College, 2007
  2. Maya Masters, 2002

74 Responses to About

  1. Ryan Connell Garvey says:

    Hey Jason,

    I’m a student at VFS in Digital Character Animation.
    As a classically trained animator, your AFR is awesome.

    So is Grease Pencil! Does it work on a Mac?


  2. […] over to Jason Schleifer’s blog for a great breakdown about animation quality versus quantity. Animation Quality Vs. Quantity – […]

  3. David Tousek says:

    Hi Jason,

    I would like to quickly ask if your script for drawing in Maya is still available. I was not able to find the DOWNLOAD page that you refer to in your blog, neighter a log in …

    so I wonder if it is still available. Would be awesome to use it, we are having currently animation courses with Andy Schmidt from Pixar, he is a classical animator at also and I would like him and the students to use your script for planning their shots .

    would it be possible to use this great script .. ?

    thank you much

  4. João Paulo says:

    Hi there Jason,

    I’ve bought your AFR bundle a long time ago and there was no
    documentation about the scripts that you gave us.

    I’m trying to figure out how to use the jsFkIkArmRig.mel for exemple.

    How can I get those documentations?



    • jason says:

      There is *lots* of documentation that comes with the bundle showing how to use the scripts.. usually over 100 pages of it per dvd.

      when/where did you purchase them?

      • João Paulo says:

        hi david,
        I’ve purchased over lulu.com i think. The lessons are like a lecture that you did on siggraph… the pdf included is “AWGUA Maya Master Class August 2001”

        • João Paulo says:

          sorry about David, Jason… :o)

          • jason says:

            haha 🙂 no worries.

            So jsFkIkArmRig.mel is used by the jsFkIkSetup.mel script. If you have the docs that you used when you purchased the dvd, page 48 starts the documentation on how to use it.

            Do you have the docs that came with the dvd & jsFkIkSetup.mel?

  5. sam says:

    Hey Jason,

    Your interviews are awesome! You should write a book and see how it does on lulu. When I was in school there was a copy of your rigging bundle that I watched a lot. its great to see more material available here.


  6. Crazy joints says:

    Jason i love yu 🙂 I’m a big fan of yu 🙂 Soon i’ll buy Animator Friendly Rigging bundle :).. Please can yu tell me when is yur birthday ? 🙂

  7. pelish says:

    this form doesn’t work.

  8. pelish says:

    Ok, it didn’t work because it filters some words.
    Hi. I have accidentally found some offensive artwork about characters from madagascar where they are illustrated very corrupted – having f^tishes, s^x, lechery and suggestive p^d^philia.
    Would you do something about it? Maybe you could send a copyright claim? Contact me for details.

  9. sami says:

    Hi Jason,

    Are these dvds same one which were available for Autodesk subscribers and if so is there any update on them.

    Thank you very much sir.

  10. Paul Leger says:

    Hello Jason,
    is it true that the Night of the Living Carrots Monsters vs Aliens special is only available through Nintendo 3DS?

    im a devote fan of the Movie and am concerned im going to miss it like the BOB app…

    • jason says:

      You know what? I’m not sure! 🙂 that’s what it says on wikipedia, but hopefully it’ll be available elsewhere..

      • Paul Leger says:

        also how does dreamworks view fan fictions? are they glad they inspire people?

        i was wondering because i have had the time of my life writing one for Monsters vs. Aliens

        ps, when is the tv show going to start up with the pilot on Nickelodeon?

        • jason says:

          I don’t think I’ve ever heard any sort of official comment on fan fiction.. I do know that some of us pass it around when we see it. 🙂

          not sure when the pilot is coming to nickelodeon.. I’m not involved with that part of things. my focus is all on the feature animation side.

          • Paul Leger says:

            oh realy? 🙂 well i know the rules on submitting ideas and all, but on a casual note, would you or anyone else be interested in checking out my fanfic? for only enjoyment of reading, not for submitting for a sequel lol

            oh ok

          • jason says:

            unfortunately, I really can’t officially see them unless they are submitted by an agent. 🙂

  11. Paul Leger says:

    so you cant just take a look if i just left a link here?

  12. Ciccio says:

    Hello Jason,
    could you help me here?

    sorry if annoying and thanks in advance 😉

    These tutorial are awesome.
    Do you plan to make some video for rigging quadrupeds or birds ?

  13. Natalie Rodriguez says:

    Hi Jason,

    I was just wondering where I could find your twos.mel script, if it’s still available for download. I’m working on my graduate reel and it would definitely help me a lot.


  14. Tahereh says:

    Hello Jason,

    I am student of 3D Animation at Seneca College in Toronto. One of my teachers gave me your name as one of the best animators and riggers. I’m glad that I know about you now and will definitely go through your videos and use your tutorials. 🙂

    As one of our assignments we should talk to an animator we have never met before and ask some questions. I don’t want to take so much of your time, some short answers to my few questions would be greatly appreciated. And it will help me and my fellow students to learn more about you and the route you have taken to get where you are now.

    here are the questions:

    1. What path have you taken to become an animator?

    2. What type of work are you doing now?

    3. Where do you want to be in the future?

    4. What is your favorite movie?

    Thanks very much for your time and answers,


  15. CHBY says:

    I am from India. I would like to purchase some of the DVD. Is there any shipping charges will add with the DVD price showing in the order page?

  16. Eric Cardeña Rodríguez says:

    My name is Eric Cardeña Rodríguez. I’m planning a trip to Sillicon Valley from Mexico City for 15 students of one of the most prestigious universities in Mexico, Universidad Panamericana.
    The main purpose of the visit is to get to know how PDI/Dreamworks do the things you do, I understand you have a very important position in the company and that your resume is incredible. If you could offer some of your time to them it would make a huge difference for them.
    The students are working really hard to get their Animation Degree and others to their Engineering in Information, so it would be incredible for them to know how great PDI/Dreamworks is, how you do the things you do and to learn something unique from you. I understand that it’s very difficult for you to do this but we’re really looking forward to learn as much of you as we can.
    It would be fantastic for the students to believe they can do great things as you do. Please consider this, I would appreciate it for life.

    Sincerely yours,
    Eric Cardena Rodríguez

    • jason says:

      Hi Eric!

      This sounds like a very exciting opportunity for you and your students! I will contact you through your email to discuss it further. 🙂


  17. Ville says:

    Hi Jason,
    First of all I have to say that AFR is one of the best tutorials ever…about anything! Do you have any tutorials, or do you know any, that would go into more detail about facial rigging(production quality)? I saw this video the other day: http://vimeo.com/38257543 and I would like to know how it works and create something as lively.

    The only DVD set that I have found is “Facial Rigging for Feature Animation” from fahrenheit studios, but it is no longer sold anywhere and I have very recently bought Jason Osipa’s “Stop Staring” (still in post), but this apparently does not go into full detail about rigging techniques.

    Any help much appreciated,
    Thank you!!

  18. raphael says:

    Hi Jason,

    AFR is an amazing method of creating rigs. I am trying to purchase it but the links to lulu.com seems to be crashing.

    I would like to know how can I purchase the AFR Bundle and if I can use it in the industry.

    best regards,

  19. chris gray says:

    Hey Jason, I’ve been a 3d studio user since DOS days and I’m starting to get into maya a bit of late. I bought your AFR series and it’s AWESOME!!!!. The delivery structure makes it easy for an old dog to learn new tricks. Thanks.

    I love the hash rename tool so much that I wrote a maxScript version cause I couldn’t do without the functionality once I’d used it in maya. Hope you don’t mind that I copied. 😐


  20. Nate says:

    Hi Jason,
    Im having problems with your matchObjUI and matchOBj scripts. Im working in maya 2012 on windows7. the problem is when i import the js afr shelf, there is no match buttons. Is it possible i have an out of date shelf??? or is this a problem with coding?? please help
    Your pipeline is legendary and as im sure you know it, AFR the basis to my and im sure other colleges’ rigging curriculums.
    Thanks again,

  21. Leonardo says:

    Hey Jason, I have something amazing to show you. I am Leonardo and me and my high school video production team are making a movie called The Flight of the Arrowhead and this movie has a quality of work which is something you will not find anywhere else in a high school classroom with kids that thought themselves in this country. We are a dedicated team and I would like to show you that. I just would like to share with you a glimpse of this film. Here is a link to the trailer.

    Trailer – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2ipBntgRBw

    Scene Breakdown – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X91gcc6ZJhk

    Shot from the movie – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dcr8S2X7Ww

    I also have this video of which is a shot from the movie I made. I am only 18 years old and I have only 3.8 years of experience on Maya.

  22. Daniel says:

    Hey Jason! I’ve been a lurker on your site for a while but this is my first time posting. Just wanted to say, your site is my favorite animation related blog!

    And do you know where else I can watch/read the strut your reel interview? It seems like its been removed.

  23. Mike Milo says:

    I hope this message finds you well… In addition to working full time in the L.A. animation industry, I have a side project in the form of a website that focuses on the people in the trenches who make the award winning stuff we love. Interviews and art from prop artists, the bg artists, board artists, painters, timers, directors, layout artists, producers, composers, voice artists, 3d riggers, animators, Texturers and modelers, TD’s, game Look dev artists, game animators, development artists and executives, sound effect people, editors, post production people etc… the blue collar workers of animation. Basically if your job is associated in some way with animated movement, we want to interview you!

    We also want to know what else animation artists good at, their other talents, be it music, cooking, ketchup sculptures, or monkey wrestling!
    And of course we want to hear from the creators too, because they have a unique point of view. We think everybody has stories to tell from the trenches of animation!
    The site address is http://www.animationinsider.com and our goal is to interview every single person in the animation industry… ALL the animation industries… a lofty goal perhaps but ya gotta have goals in life yes?

    We have almost 600 interviews from professionals world-wide and I would love to add your name to the growing list. You don’t HAVE to talk about what you’re working on or the studio you work at if you don’t wish to… it’s more about who you are. All it consists of are a series of emailed questions you fill out and email back along with art to compliment that interview.

    Please let me know if you’re interested and I will send you the questionnaire.

  24. hey jason
    i just baught the whole rigging dvd bundle yesterday i downloaded 2 parts and no i can’t acces the download page to get the rest please what can i do

    thank you

  25. Daniel says:

    Hey Mr. Jason!
    I just watched integrating a creature rig. Good stuff even to this day! My only complaint is the audience. What a thought crowd. But don’t worry, I enjoyed your sense of humor. Very much.

  26. hey jason !!

    i’m confused about something, i always hear that object in the 3D scene should be in real life size should the characters be also in real size ??? and would that affect the rigging process

    • Jason says:


      I don’t know if its absolutely necessary to be real world (although perhaps dynamics will work better with real world scale). One thing that Uzis useful is to have a consistent scale.. It will make it easier for you to be sure you are always creating objects and characters at can relate to each other effectively.

  27. Hi Jason,

    Thankyou for the awesome lecture that you gave today at technicolor.
    Such short time and you gave us a galore of info.
    I’m not sure how long you will be herein Bangalore, but it would’ve cool if I could use a few minutes of your spare time to show you my works.it would mean a lot to get your inputs.
    I know you have a crazy schedule.
    Just keeping my fingers crossed!!
    Just 5 minutes is all I need.


  28. Luana Mucci says:

    Hi Jason!
    I was one of your students at animation mentor 🙂 how are you?
    I am here because I bought your complete friendly rigging! And its great!
    Now, I do really need a complete training to setup the face!
    Are you going to do something for facial rigging or do you know someone who does have it?

    Thank you very much for your attention and support!
    Have a great week 🙂 !!!

    • Dan says:

      I can’t speak for Jason himself but I don’t think there will be a facial tutorial by him. He seems to be swamped with his work at Dreamworks. I’m no Jason Schleifer, but I’d recommend the book “Stop Staring” by Jason Osipa, or if you can get your hands on it, Aaron Holly’s “Facial Rigging For Production” but Aaron Holly’s tutorial is more difficult to come by because they stopped printing them 🙁

      • jason says:

        haha 🙂 thanks dan! and thanks Luana! good to see ya!!

        yes, I’m completely swamped with work.. I’m head of animation on Peabody and Sherman, which takes up all of my time (and then some!).

        I would also recommend Jason Osipa’s book.. not just because it’s a great book, but also because he’s a friggin crazy talented person whom I respect and admire!

        Aaron’s also quite talented, and I respect & admire him as well. 🙂


  29. Aaron says:

    Saw Megamind again through Netflix on blu-ray. The character animation was definitively the best aspect of its animation.

  30. Jordan Stillman says:

    Hello Jason My name is Jordan Stillman and I am a college student at Emporia State University, and I am doing an assignment for my Comp 1 class and we have to interview someone basically anyone that is close to what were interested in. And one of art teachers at the art department suggested that I would interview you since I do love animation, especially 2d animation, and pretty soon I actually want animate and make my own movie someday. And if you cannot come here then we will interview by phone or email

  31. Its that you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand considerably roughly this specific, like you published the hem ebook inside or anything. I have faith that you simply are capable of doing with a few % to force what it’s all about property slightly, although besides that, that is great web site. An outstanding understand. I’m going to be back again.

  32. Dilen Shah says:

    Hey jason,

    Thank you for all your tutorials, you sir are awesome! I have a question if you could help me with it. How can i solve softIK problem, can it be done with nodes or need to write a plugin?

    Thank you.


  33. bezanson says:

    hi there! , Is extremely good publishing hence a whole lot! talk about most people speak more details on your post about AOL? I involve an expert for this area to fix my personal problem. Probably that is you! Taking a look forward to help you.

  34. Hi Jason i bought your animation friendly rigging dvd last year. And only now had the opportunity to go through them deep. But i found a big problem for me. Part 3b and 4a zip files only have a few bytes. Im afraid i left it downloading and didnt looked at the file size. Is there any possibility to get the download links again?

    Best Regards

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  36. Aaron says:

    Hey Jason,

    I’ve noticed there are a few files missing in my download. An example would be the parkour video you guys made and some example files.

    Did you take these out as you updated things?

    I’ve tried unziping the zip file, but alas, I still get the same files. lol

    Thanks in advance!

  37. Hi, my name is Drew.
    I’m currently a senior at KCAI, and I was hoping that you could take some time, and periodically look at any progress on my thesis film. Could I send you an email with a few more details? Ideally this wouldn’t require a lot of you time, as I know you are a busy man. Any assistance with this would be appreciated.

  38. Brad says:

    Thanks for finally writing about > About | shhLIFE! < Loved it!

  39. Marc says:

    Hi Jason,
    I bought the 2 DVD set The Jason Schleifer Rigging Bundle a long time ago.
    I am able to get most of the scripts to work no problem.
    However, I have tried multiple times to get jsConstObj to execute on a couple of spheres.
    Using it like you demonstrated on the DVD but it will not function. Is there something about using the script in Maya 2011 that creates a problem? There were several times when I got the prompt “You don’t have enough objects selected.” But I have tried it with 2 objects and with 3 and still get nothing. I really like this script and have searched multiple places to find out if I am executing this incorrectly or if others have had this problem.
    I really have found no answers. Any help would be much appreciated.


    • jason says:

      Hi marc!

      Thanks for asking! I’ll look into this tomorrow!


      • Marc says:

        Far out!
        I was not sure if you were even checking this site any longer.

        My goal is to use the script as you have so that the spine and the hips do not separate. I was using the jsConstObj on spheres as a test.
        I realize that you created this a long time ago. Is it possible that if I was to purchase the updated rigging part one on this website I would get an updated version of this mel script?


        • jason says:

          Heh, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I still check it. 🙂 In fact… the last time I blogged was in 2012! Shame! So much has happened since then!

          Anyway, I checked the script in the latest version of Maya and it still worked, however in order to get it to work it required 2 additional scripts.. endName.mel and jsUnlockTransforms.mel

          Do you have those scripts?

          If not, you can email me at jason.schleifer (at) gmail.com and I’ll happily give them to you! 🙂


  40. Alexandria says:

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    reading it, you could be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog
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  41. Philippe says:

    Hello Jason… I am an animator who always wanted to learn how to rig 🙂 I work at Cinesite and some of my co-workers told me that your tutorial are still to this day one of the best in the market. I just wanted to know before I buy them, is the technique/scripts youre teaching are still working on Maya 2015-2016???

    Thanks a lot

  42. Ken says:

    Hi Jason!

    I am an Animation Mentor grad. Thanks for all your teachings in the past.

    I am trying to improve my skills in the rigging department since I’m a strong animator but don’t know much about rigging. I am good at rigging props or simple objects with non linear deformers, constraints, and parenting relationships, but I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to using bones, skinning or rigging characters.

    Do you think your tutorials would help me in this, or do you think it’s more for riggers to improve their skills… not animators.

    Let me know and thanks in advance,


  43. Molly O'Brien says:

    Hi Jason,

    My name is Molly, I am reaching out today on behalf of my boss in hopes of getting the best contact email for you, to send invitations to upcoming screenings and events.

    Please feel free to email me so I can provide you with further information.

    Thank you very much. I look forward to speaking soon.


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