4. general rigging and animation

What is this module about?

Rigging is a process used to turn a static model into one that can be animated, ideally without actually having to touch the model. In this module, we learn how to rig hard surface models, from very simple rigs, like a wall clock, to more sophisticated, complex rigs like machinery.

We will then animate our objects, learning about the fundamentals of animation, movement, weight, and visual storytelling.

What are the requirements for this module?

A decent Windows 10 Pro-based PC with a strong video card, or a Mac with a strong AMD card, at least 16 Mb RAM, and a HD or UHD monitor. You will also need a Maya  license.

Whom is it recommended for?

Software we use


The Timeline and the Keyframes

The Timeline and the Range Slider. Setting, copying and deleting keyframes. Animating deformers.

The Node Editor

Introducing utility nodes and the basics of the Node Editor.

Parents and Constraints

All about hierarchy: parents, children, and null objects. Locators. The constraints.

Driver and Driven

Add and edit attributes. Set driven key.

The Graph Editor

Adjusting keyframes. Understanding tangent handles.

Introducing Joints

Creating and editing joint hierarchies. Inserting, removing and rerooting joints. Combining joints with constraints.

The 12 Principles of Animation

Timing, ease-in & ease-out, and arcs. Inertia, momentum, and resistance. Follow-through and overlapping action. Squash and stretch. Principles of performance: anticipation, pose to pose, and straight ahead action. Secondary action and exaggaration. Staging, solid drawing, and appeal.

Introduction to Kinematics

Forward and Inverse kinematics basics. Setting up an IK chain.


The Motion trail and the Ghost tool. Animation snapshot. The Grease pencil.

Caching and Exporting

Alembic cache. The Game exporter. ATOM.

Procedural Animation

MASH basics. Motion graphics.

Video Output

Viewport 2.0 settings. Camera DOF setup. Create turntable. Playblast.


project “robotic arm”

Based on the supplied video, create a rig for the robotic arm and its controls.

Rig the cables of the arm and the tubes between the arm and the controls. Animate the scene.

Project “mechaspider”

Rig a mechanical spider and create a walk cycle.

Create a swarm of mechaspiders. Combine manual and procedural animation techniques. Animate the camera.


The module ideally takes 12 lessons to finish.

A lesson is 90 minutes long.

It is recommended to take 1 lesson a week.




(paid in 3 installments)

£ 276 ×3 (£ 828)

FOR duos:

(paid in 3 installments)

£ 138 ×3 (£ 414) /student