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Master Rigging & Python Scripting in Maya

Create Helper Scripts & a Python Limb Rig With Nick Miller


Automating different rigging setups is an essential part of the production pipeline at any major studio. Learn all the fundamental elements of rigging and Python scripting in Maya with this 5-hour workshop, which is structured so that even beginners can follow along — even if you’ve never done any rigging or scripting before. Nick eases viewers in with lessons about the commonly used nodes, deformers, constraints, and explains various other types of relationships within Maya. As the workshop progresses, the concepts become more complex with step-by-step demonstrations that you can follow and apply to your own projects.

You may ask: If most companies already have rigging setup tools, why should I bother to learn scripting? To some degree, you could get by without scripting. However, studio tools can only get you so far. There will be many instances where you’ll need to automate a repetitive task. Now, imagine having to manually rig 100 pieces of variously sized ropes dangling from a ceiling? It would take you a long time. Scripting enhances your own personal workflow and makes you infinitely more productive, and therefore gives you an edge over the competition. 

By completing this workshop, you will have created several helper scripts and a Python limb rig creation tool — complete with a graphical user interface. Limb functionality will include IK/FK switching, a full set of basic limb controls, and stretchy bones. All of the skills taught will help rigging artists to very quickly build and maintain animation-ready assets. When the process of building rigs is scripted, it becomes so much easier to update your rig with a new model, additional functionality, or a different joint layout.

PyCharm is used as a third-party tool in this workshop, which can be downloaded here

Duration: 5h 20m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Nick Miller

Creature Supervisor at DNEG

Nick Miller is a Creature Supervisor currently working at DNEG. His career originally began in New York; he worked many contract and freelance gigs before accepting a full-time position at Framestore. It was there that he sharpened his Python skills and eventually became the main contributor to the commercial department's rigging package. 

In early 2017, he moved to the Vancouver area, where he worked for Method Studios, Digital Domain, and most recently, Double Negative. Throughout his professional career, he has worked on various projects, including commercials, television, games, and film. 

Both in and outside of work, he enjoys mentoring anybody who will listen to him talk about rigging or Python.

  • It has been an absolute pleasure working with Nick! I appreciate his style, diligence, and attention to detail, and he is extremely adept at interdepartmental communication . . . so good, you don't even notice it because everything just works.

    - Elizabeth Bernard
    Animation Supervisor at Digital Domain

  • Nick is an amazing rigger. He did a fantastic job leading shows at Method!

    - Edy Susanto Lim
    Former Rigging/CFX HOD at Method Studios / Senior TD at NVIDIA

  • Nick has a wide range of useful rigging and Python tricks and can always provide creative solutions from different angles. From my experience, Nick is an excellent instructor who can explain rigging in fun and easy ways!

    - Minji Sohn
    Rigging Technical Director at Framestore