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Quadruped Rigger -- automated rigging for four legged characters 1.1.1 for Maya (maya script)

Automated rigging for four legged characters in Maya to get a solid rig for animation with a short setup time.

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  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 9.x, 2009, 2008, 8.x

Operating Systems

  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Windows


Last Modified:09/27/2016
File Size: 123 KB


animation, maya, mel, Rigging, Tips

Quadruped Rigger provides a basic rig for a four legged character. It does not feature any advanced controls such as toes, advanced ear controls, facials or similar, but is stable and solid.
As with everything else it’s always the question what a rig should be capable of, what are the needed features and what kind of controls are really necessary. I doubt that there is an all-way-all-purpose rig as it really depends on the animation but it’s always good to have a strong foundation to build on and add new features. I am sure that over the time some more stuff will make it into the Quadruped Rigger but only when I need it or when I have the time. If it’s not really what you are looking for feel free to find a rig that works for you. I found that there are so many concepts and ways to rig a character that you just have to find one that suits you.

Quadruped Features:
  • IK/FK back (with volume control)
  • FK Tail
  • IK/FK neck (with volume control)
  • IK legs (stretchable)
  • attribute controlled ears
  • separate visibility of all body parts
  • character sets
  • skin joint sets for all body parts
  • shoulder blade control

Watch the video about the rigging process.

When building the rigger I tried include many strategies and workflows that are already present in my Character Rigger that evolved quite well over the years and there are some scripts in the Quadruped Rigger that are directly taken from the Character Rigger script.

Watch the video about the features.

Here are some things that I always like to focus on when rigging:

  • clean and organized structure
  • everything is correctly named – even down to the tweak nodes!
  • use as few constraints as possible as these tend to slow down the rig
  • only what’s needed can be selected, – everyhing else is hidden and/or locked
  • custom pickwalking
  • additional tools to help the rigging and animation process

As far as the installation process is concerned, there is a pdf document in the downloaded zip file which explains the basic steps. There is also a video tutorial available about demonstrating the installation of the package.

Watch the installation tutorial.

The script does not automatically bind your skin geometry. That's a step that has to be done separately. During the rigging process some sets are created automatically accessible through the outliner. These sets contain the animation controls as well as all the actual skinning joints. These sets are roughly mentioned in the 'features' video about 40 seconds in. Simply select all the skin binding joints, select your skin mesh and smooth bind.

Please note that when installing the scripts and running it for the first time, there will be a new hotkey setup for you to make the QuadRig marking menu available. The hotkey will be “Y” (shift + Y) and will replace any existing hotkey for this combination. You might want to change this through editing the “icQRsetup.mel”. Close to the bottom of the script I added an explanation of how to change the predefined setting (of course edit the file at your own risk!). If you don’t care about setting the new shortcut just install as described

    Please use the Bug System to report any bugs.
    Please use the Feature Requests to give me ideas.
    Please use the Support Forum if you have any questions or problems.
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