[Maya] Rigging/Tech art frameworks?

Hi all,

We are investigating Maya for our animation team. It’s been years since I have used Maya and I’m sure there have been big strides in tools and tech since then. Right now we are looking for any info on any Maya code-base or frameworks for technical art, mainly for games rigging and animation pipeline work.

I’ve looked up mGear and red9, both of which seem pretty in depth and comprehensive. They both look pretty promising. I was looking at Fabric engine a year or so ago for general adoption, but that seems to have been discontinued.

Are there any others I’m missing? Do you work in a production pipeline with 3rd party code or tools such as mGear or red9? If so what are they and what are your experiences?

Writing our own code base is not out of the question, we’re basically evaluating if we can use something to speed initial ramp up time. Why re-write the wheel right?

Any feedback or thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!


Here’s a few cool projects to consider




The folks from Red9, Pyblish and I think mGear are floating around in the user community here FWIW


Here are a couple more rigging systems that just got released to consider. I haven’t tested them yet.

I was using an older version of mGear in a production earlier this year, renovating old rigs instead of making new ones. Some of the node plugins were not parallel-friendly yet, but I believe Miguel was working on that. But in general, that is something to keep in mind as you test different rigs, especially any older systems.

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For a bi-directional tool and workflow, consider this:

For an RBF solver, consider this:

For muscle and tissue deformer, consider this:

For a comprehensive blendshape tool and workflow, consider this:

For a comprehensive fur and hair tool and workflow, consider this:

Maya 2018+ uses Arnold to render. An alternative render is Pixar’s Renderman.

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Hi Andy,

glad you’ve found Red9 but I guess the question is have you also found the ProPack as we do 2 very different levels of pipeline and frameworks. The OpenSource Red9 StudioPack is a great start for any animation toolkit, particularly with the metaData API framework, however we also do a massively expanded commercial build which is now the foundation of a lot of big studios animation pipelines.

ProPack is, as far as we’re aware, the most expansive off the shelf Maya pipeline available, developed alongside clients like CloudImperium Games and with deep integration to Perforce, multiple Project handlers, timecode systems, expansive animation tools and exporter systems all built-in, as well of course as the latest cut of StudioPack.

Our PuppetRig is currently something we offer as a service only, it’s a complex pipeline that we’ve created to manage client character deliveries and enable us to quickly integrate client side changes to the rig pipelines. I guess it depends on what you’re really looking for? If you’re looking to build rigs from an in-house toolkit then I’d look at MGear, and then maybe suggest ProPack as the back-end pipeline. If you’re looking for a more rounded service, with experienced off-site TDs then drop us a line, we’ve love to show you through the systems. We also cover facial rigging, pretty much have fingers in every aspect of a modern game pipe with client projects pushing all the tech forward at the same time.



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I knew id get some replies. <3.

@Theodox. Great links, many thanks. Pretty much all of those look like good avenues to explore. Plex stands out to me as pretty comprehensive. It may not be right for us, but it’s very interesting. Pyblish is very interesting, and something we have been striving for in our 3ds max pipeline for a while. Having something like that ready to go in maya could be a big win.

@clesage and @jgaines Thanks! Man, I remember the Exotools bi-directional constrain from a while back. It was early then, so great to see it again. This is great stuff, thanks both.

@Mark-J Thanks for the breakdown. We are definitely looking at auto riggers, but also code libraries to help with the pipeline and tools work as much as we can. We are definitely looking to manage it all in house. However something like your metadata framework looks like something we could definitely use.

I’ll relay any interesting findings if we proceed with all this.

Again, you are all gentlemen and scholars, and I owe you a pint.