Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Norman Rig went public - again

Alright, after a few hiccups it seems like the creators of Norman uploaded the rig for good.

Norman is a Maya puppet built unofficially for the Academy of Art University Pixar classes. Since those classes disbanded, we decided he should finally be set loose. Anyone should feel free to use the rig for non-commercial purposes, to edit him and pass him along to your heart's content.

You can find all the info and files here. And a how-to-modify-Norman @ Animation Buffet.


Stefan Schumacher said...

I dont agree with this at all. Seriously, going to this school leaves us with no advantages over other schools at all (at least undergrad). Like the generi-phenomenon, people will see a Norman rig and roll their eyes in the future.

Leif said...


Thank you for voicing your concern, although the rig was never originally intended to be an AAU only rig. It was only at the request of the Pixar classes that we decided to let it remain exclusive(pixar class exclusive, not aau exclusive.)

Now that the classes no longer exist we feel it is time for everyone to enjoy Norman (as he was originally intended.)

Everyone should be able to practice animation on a rig that functions properly. What makes you stand out is your ability to animate, not the advantage of a better rig.

If you feel that AAU should have an exclusive rig, then please feel free to create one (or convince the school to commission one). Norman is a 4 year old rig, so there is a lot that could be improved.

But let me stress to you, that at the end of the day the rig is just a tool...your ability to get a job is not going to be based on using a rig that no one has seen before, but on the quality of your animation.


Anonymous said...

Having a quality rig available for the public is great for the community, Hogan has been a great opportunity to learn animation and I can only thank its creators for making it available.

Anyway this is a good news but I still think that Norman is harder to use than Hogan on a body standpoint. A lot of issues regarding the rotations, but I'll take a look to the pdf file if there are ways to fix that.

Again, thumbs up for making it public but don't forget that it will not make the animation better, it can be a real struggle with all its controllers and options.


Jean-Denis Haas said...

I see both sides. It's great to have a good rig in order to learn, but you will see a lot of not-so-good animation which will push Norman into Generi territory (which is a shame because Generi is a lot of fun).

But maybe that will motivate someone to create a new rig for the AAU.

Even though I agree with "What makes you stand out is your ability to animate, not the advantage of a better rig.", I'm all for having students use the most powerful rig possible. Some of the free rigs online do limit your potential and force to spend a lot of time modifying the model instead of animating. Survival of the fittest I guess, but I'm just more into spending time animating then tweaking rigs.

shiva said...

I mostly spent a day or two modifying Norman. The only time I spent more than that was I when I had no idea what I was going to animate.

Hammy said...

Stefan, If I may sound brutally honest (which can be sort of mean but I don't mean it that way), I don't think all AAU animation students are very good at animation too and are very reliant on Norman. Resulting into where I already roll my eyes when I saw Norman... Unless I see one that is as well modified like yours or Shiva's, since I couldn't tell they were Norman sometimes. :)

Also, the concept of exclusive rigs does seems to exist with the Pixar guys, Animation Mentor does it too. I can see why they did and all but who wouldn't like to try them out and see how awesome it was? I guess I see both side of the perspective.

If anything anyone who wants an extremely exclusive rig, I feel students themselves should learn to make them! Ringling students are doing awesome at it. These ready rigs are normally suitable for exercises in my opinion.

Also, AAU is already planning on more short films projects to resolve the problems discussed at the Spline Doctors... not many people seem to show up on the Animation Track meeting, but you could have brought this to their attention if you have problems with AAU animation Department. Believe me, they listen. It's the 'other side' of AAU that might be giving problems... Sadly.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

To add my 2 cents:

Yes please, do attend those meetings. Bring up any issues! Even if the fix isn't coming immediatly, at least it will at one point and the students will thank you for it.