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Applied Rigging Techniques for Production

Applied Rigging Techniques for Production

An 8-week course focused on the WHYs behind rigging, teaching advanced techniques that can help you take your rigging skills to the next level
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Build cartoony or realistic rigs

Build cartoony or realistic rigs

This course is intended to not just click buttons and follow the path that Maya lays out, but dig deeper into the different nodes that Maya has and see how we can use this to our advantage to create rigs. Topics in this course are focused on the WHYs of rigging–principles often taught to new hires and junior riggers at VFX studios. At the end of the course the students should have an in-depth understanding of how data flows through Maya and how they can manipulate this. In addition they will have solid ideas and techniques for building and maintaining rigs for production.
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Registration Period
Course Start

Course Format


Skills Level



8 weeks


Once a week


Live in Q&A sessions

Lecture Type

Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, Q&A, and time on assignments.
Students should be able to rig a biped in Maya and have some basic scripting understanding with either MEL or Python. Python will be used in the course. Course Recommendations: Rigging for Games, Python for VFX and Animation
Maya (ideally 2020 but older versions ,back to 2016, will work)

The more you know, the better.

Making a basic biped rig with FK/IK blending | Basic scripting with either MEL or Python | Using the node editor
Intro to vector and matrix math | Look at new offset matrix on Maya nodes | Brief into to the Python API
DG Theory | Creating and using nodes directly VS using Maya command/buttons | Orig shapes Model update with orig shapes | MA files | Scripts folder in Maya install
Making rig more animator friendly | Separate rigs for different purposes | Connecting rigs together | Speed modes | Low rig version | Managing the visibility of controls
Control setup for spine | Reverse FK and variable FK setups | Curve spine | Blending Stretchy/Fixed length
Bendy limb | Twist Extraction | Interpolation joints | Split knee | Push joints | Pose reader theory and implementation
Rough to decent skinning | Creating poly cages for skinning | Intro to ngSkin Tools | Copying skinning between meshes
Muscles discussion | Topology discussion | Faking bicep | Stretchy joints | Corrective Shapes | Detail shapes | Detail Shapes | Non-linear activation | Basic nCloth Setup | Combining different deformations
Creating a test animation | Troubleshooting the rig | Validating fixes | Scripted Playblasts | Reviewing Playblasts | Reel advice | Script to reset controls | Intro to Profiler

Taking your skills to the next level.

To Be Announced
Course Start:
For specific questions regarding TBA instructors, please contact CGMA Admissions Department at registration@cgmasteracademy.com

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Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.

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