SAN FRANCISCO — Mixamo (www.mixamo.com), the online character animation service, recently made available free scripts for Maya and 3DS Max users that allow a 3D artist to realize a fully rigged 3D character in less than a minute starting from any bipedal character model. The scripts add further functionality to Mixamo’s Auto-Rigger service, an online service released in June 2011, that automatically fits a skeleton and calculates skinning weights on an uploaded character model mesh.
“Until now the automatically rigged character could be animated in Maya and 3DS Max using forward kinematics or by setting up a custom control rig,” notes Mixamo CEO Stefano Corazza. “The released scripts automatically convert the automatically rigged character into a Biped system or CAT rig in 3DS Max while creating a custom IK/FK control rig for Maya users, making the animation editing process much faster.“
The scripts were developed out of an extensive research Mixamo conducted to identify the best solution for rigging game-ready characters. Although the primary focus of the feature is game characters the rigs can be used for a variety of applications including pre-visualization, simulation, design, and ergonomics. The scripts can be downloaded free of charge.
Characters that are created with the CAT, Biped or Maya custom control rig can be easily animated. Mixamo also provides a large collection of motions that can be automatically applied to the Auto-Rigger characters or any other character. Mixamo recommends the use of layers when external animation data is used and provides several tutorials on its Website describing the use of layers in Maya or 3DS Max. Auto-Rigger characters are also 100 percent compatible with the Motionbuilder control rig.