Learn to prepare your model for animation!

This course is designed for students approaching rigging techniques for the first time, as well as for professional riggers who wish to build on their knowledge in character rigging. During the course we will lead you through the entire process of rigging a character, which includes a spine, arm, hand, leg, head and face rigging. Course participants will become thoroughly acquainted with the basic concepts of rigging, which include the preparation of a 3D model for the rigging process and advanced techniques such as: 

•    the stretch technique – stretching the arms and legs of a character
•    IK-FK switch, techniques such as twisting the forearm without volume loss  
•    corrective blend shapes

Special attention will be devoted to the skinning process [adding controls to the model (mesh)], which is one of the key steps towards successful rigging. Participants will gain a detailed insight and instructions for the tools used in the working process. Upon completion of the course participants will have obtained the following: 

•    Knowledge needed for independent implementation of techniques learned.  
•    Ability to improve character rigs they have worked on independently. 
•    All textbook material (MEL and Python) to keep, as well as all tools used throughout the course. 


Basic information:

course duration:  10 weeks
requirements:   3D/VFX Essentials* 
prices for international students click here        

prices for home students click here   
       *or  equivalent computer skills
    **price based on minimum 5 participants
  ***internship available
Online application send here>


Course program

Theory of rigging and tools
  • Theory of rigging
  • Getting acquainted with the tools used for rigging

Skeleton menu
  • Getting acquainted with the skeleton menu

Joint orientation, controls for animation
  • Explaining the orientation of joints and making controls for animation
  • Setting up joints and the correct orientation of joints on a character
   (”Tips and tricks” how to most efficiently set up the joints on a character)
  • Finalizing settings of joints on a character, naming and mirroring joints
  • Exercise for setting up joints

Rigging legs
  • Reverse foot controls technique
  • Questions and exercises
  • Advanced techniques for rigging legs (IK-FK system, IK stretch, pole vectors)
  • Questions and exercises

Rigging spines and heads
  • Rigging spines and heads (IK stretch and FK system)
  • Questions and exercises

Rigging arms
  • Rigging arms (IK stretch and FK system, forearm twist)
  • Questions and exercises

Rigging fingers
  • Rigging fingers, making predefined poses and enabling the manual movement of each individual finger
  • Questions and exercises

Preparing a rig for animators
  • Preparing a rig for animators and connecting all rig systems (cleaning excess attributes on
    controls, color coding controls for easier visual selection, making an accurate hierarchy for the
    global scale of the entire rig)
  • Questions and exercises

Theory of skinning
  • Theory of skinning
  • Getting acquainted with tools for skinning
  • Preparing a model for skinning
  • Skinning techniques (smooth and rigid)
Skinning a rigged character
  • Skinning a rigged character (part one)
  • Questions and exercises
  • Skinning a rigged character (part two)
  • Questions and exercises

Advanced techniques for skinning
  • Advanced techniques for skinning (techniques that give the effect of real bodily deformities)
  • Questions and exercises

Rigging faces
  • Face rigging (theory section)

Blend shapes
  • Getting acquainted with blend shapes
  • Blend shape techniques for rigging faces, making controls for animation of blend shapes
  • Questions and exercises

Techniques for rigging faces
  • Bones technique for rigging faces and making controls for animation
  • Questions and exercises
  • Cluster technique for rigging faces and making controls for animation
  • Questions and exercises

Connecting face and body rigs
  • Connecting face and body rigs, making a low res model for fast feedback after animation
  • Questions and exercises

Advanced techniques for rigging
  • Advanced techniques for rigging (corrective shapes)
  • Questions and exercises


Literature* :


* all literature is available to students at the Crater VFX Training Center library



Upon completion of the course students will receive the internationally recognized Autodesk Certificate of Completion, as well as the Crater VFX Training Center Certificate.


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