Four Legs are better than Two!

Over the next few weeks you’ll be making your quadrupeds.


You’ll be working on this over a couple of weeks as we move through learning the various rigBlocks.

  • Decide on a quadruped design
  • Create your template from scratch
  • Build your rig


What should you see to get from this module

  • Understand the different kinds of rigBlocks
  • Expand your UI knowledge of using mrsBuilder
  • Create a template from scratch
  • Process that template between the various states
  • Iterate on your asset until you’re happy


So the first thing we’re going to do is decide what we want to rig. I’m going to do a horse.

As you’re deciding:

  • I’d avoid wings for now as I’d rather wait till we have a good module and not a hacked set of wings like Rael our griffin.
  • The rest is up to you and we may have to iterate
  • You’re welcome to do a horse as well.

We have our target so next we need some reference material to work from. To Google!

Collect some reference material you like. Here’s mine.

With that when I’m working modeling or doing MRS stuff I like to have reference to throw on on image plane. So I roughly sketched up what I wanted.

I made it the background darker so I can see my proxy stuff against it easier. I had it white originally but kept losing stuff in it.

Now that we have our reference, let’s hop in Maya and get rolling.

Your first assignment for this module is to:

  • Collect reference
  • Sketch up your image plane art
  • Even if you’re doing a horse as well this is a good exercise (don’t use my reference)

Setting up to build


Let’s setup or base file for our asset. Open up Maya (I’ll be demoing in 2018)

Setup my image plane
Change my viewport to side
Import the image – view>image Plane> Import

That’s nice but we need to make sure we have stuff at the size we want.

I want mDrake to be able to use this horse so i’ll use him. I have included a relax posed mDrake for you to use as well.

So we import him.

Maybe a wee bit small. So we’ll scale it up to something more sensible.

Looks pretty good. Now we want to:

  • Put his feet on the ground plane
  • I like to make an poly plane to help if it’s hard to eyeball.
  • Lock the transform attributes on the plane when you have it where you want it
    • Select those attributes
    • Right click
    • Lock
  • I like setting the alpha gain on the image plane to .5 as well.

Here’s where I ended up.


Save off your file.

Quick Note

As we move through this we’re not going to do the whole horse at each step. Instead we’re going to walk through the modules testing as we go. Yes it will be repetitive but it will also hopefully cement in the concepts you’ll need as you work through your own creations.

As a preview of where we’re going. This was my test built rig for the class with a little animation on it.

Let’s go!

Josh Burton

[MRS Project Lead | CG Monks] Josh is an animator turned TD who hails from Oklahoma, pre-undergrad in the Marine Corps, animation basics at Savannah College of Art and Design, cut his teeth in gaming and commercials before co-founding CG Monks and more recently the CG Monastery. The Morpheus Rigging System is a culmination of years of R&D and he is now thrilled to see what users can create, collaborate and expand on with this open source MRS platform.