Here are our top recommended free maya rigs that you are allowed to download and use as a quick way to start animating. Most of these maya character rigs can also be modified as well as deconstructed to see the creators rigging techniques.
The Flying Fox rig is a very simple, yet great rig to use when first starting with animation. This rig will help teach you the basics of animation by focusing on weight and gravity. Mastering the tail animation is a great test for understanding those principles.
Download Flying Fox
FishBoy is a cartoony rig that is very squash and stretchy. Use this rig when practicing with volume conservation. You can get some very organic, squishy like animation from this character, so have fun with this.
Roboter is a humanoid rig that is great for starting to learn human animation. Animating humans is by far the hardest task in animation. The robot aspet will help forgive any imperfection in your animation which makes this a good rig to start with.
Wow these characters have such a great design to them. I’m sure you will find great joy in animating these guys.
Download World Zombination
Nico is an interesting quadruped rig that offers some nice control. Warning: this rig is for advanced users. Animating quadrupeds, with tails even, is a very challenging task. I recommend this rig once you are comfortable animating simple characters.
The Daxter rig is modeled after the popular Jak and Daxter game series. This is a great rig to test out some lip-synching exercises. The rig comes with a fully animatable facial rig which will allow you to get some very interesting expressions.
Mery is more of an advanced rig. She comes with dynamic hair options, but nevertheless she has all the control you could need.
Hotel Transylvania Zombie Rig
This is an official rig form Sony Pictures’ Hotel Transylvania. If you have ever wanted to get something closed to a production rig, this is it.
StreetMan is a rig offers a superhero-like character that can be good when trying to animate a character who can defy the laws of physics. Having this little guy fly around can be a good exercise.
Download Street Man
Buckid is a very simple bipedal character that is a rig that is very limited in controls, which is a great thing. Bringing simple characters to life is very powerful, especially if when looking to land a job somewhere. Animators like to see that you can get the most out of your rig, despite its simplicity.
Squirrely is a fun rig to animate with. If provides some great control, and the character design is very pleasing, which makes this is a great rig to use on your reel.
Simple Bot is highly recommended for beginner animators. This limited rig forces animators to focus on the basics, like weight distribution. This is a great little guy to bring to life.
Download Simple Bot
Moon is an advanced rig that offers many features, including FK/IK switching, facial controls, ‘level of detail’ switching, and more. This rig offers the control of production level rigs, so getting good with this kind of rig can be very beneficial.
Ultimate Beefy is another simple, yet stylized rig. The proportions offer some nice variety to the other rigs. The character design is a nice bonus.
Download Ultimate Beefy
Morpheus is a highly customizable rig that allows you to create a very unique character for you to animate with. This rig has advanced controls and offers a lot of features.
Animatik offers bendy limbs, which allow for interesting animation styles.
Malcolm is a free rig character for maya provided by AnimSchool. The rig offers a huge amount of control, but should only be used by advanced animators.
Vespa is a good way to practice animating an object. There are lessons to be learned about bring inanimate objects to life.
Post any other great rigs you know of in the comments!