MRS Perceptions

The What…

The Morpheus Rig System (MRS) is a python based modular framework and toolset for the creation of high quality creature and character rigs for Autodesk Maya. The fully-customizable rigs can be built for anything from a Unity mobile app to a full feature rig.

MRS uses a template system under which small rig modules are snapped together and fitted to the character model. These templates are used to generate the controls, wiring and structures of our rigs. The templates can be reconfigured and reused for multiple characters with differing proportions.

Every rig created with MRS is fully integrated into the a wider toolset to provide a full rigging and animation pipeline for studios of any size.

What can you use it for?

  • Testing new designs before committing time/money to modelling
  • Making rigs for your own projects – personal or commercial
  • Creating assets for the CG Monastery and selling approved assets here
  • Be someone we reach out to when we need help on gigs

What makes it special?


  • Easily Customizable Templates – Simple dags where possible let us easily move things around when we’re making changes to a setup
  • Proxy Rig workflow – The way we use lofts in our setup lets us generate decent looking rough characters rapidly
  • Animator Friendly Rigs – We’re animators and we make rigs we want to use
  • Rapid Iteration – Ability to quickly try new ideas once you have the fundamentals down
  • Built for keeping rigs up to date – Scarecrow setup lets us easily roll in new rig features
  • Easy to Integrate Into Any Pipeline – Clean heirarchies and a wide array of tools means our clients rarely have issue getting our assets into their pipelines
  • Game Engine Ready – We’re building to be Unity complient and doing some Unreal work as well
  • Maya nodes – Not using custom nodes means our rigs open and work without special setups
  • Modular Design For Easy Extensibility – We want the system to expand so we’ve designed it to be as open as possible

Template Driven Rigging System

  • Proxy geo creation from rigBlocks to save modeler time
  • Build Profiles  – One template, multiple build type system

mrsAnimate – Animation UI/Marking Menu for rig interaction

  • Control,Part,Puppet,Scene contextual functionality
    • Mirroring
    • Mode switching
    • Resetting
    • Toggling options
    • Pose System | modified use of  Red9’s pose config

mrsBuilder – Rig builder UI

  • Manage, add, connect rigBlocks
  • Push rigBlocks through build states
  • Generate puppet mesh

Quality of Life

  • Display layer setup per asset
  • Sets – QSS sets puppet, each part, Bake, Delete
  • Clean Hierarchy setup


  • Controller Support | pickwalking, parallel targeted
  • Joint Tags | Maya tagging for better functionality with maya tools
  • Joint Based Facial setup being expanding and improved
  • Direct joint control with transparent proxy shapes where possible for selection ease
  • IK
    • Ribbon setup
    • Stretch
    • Lock mid where possible
    • Explicit control of ik handles
  •  FK
    • Mirror behavior
    • Unlocked translates for more control
  • Segment
    • No flip bases
    • Ribbon twist setup
  • Ribbons
    • Reparameterization blending
  • Scale
    • Scalable controls
    • Squash stretch setups | single, both
    • Multiple methods | ArcLen, PointDist
  • Bank setup
    • Full featured foot setup with multiple points of articulation
  • Space Pivots – setup for IK controls to have constrainable spaces for those controls
  • rigNodes – Blocks buffer all nodes during build to aid in later optimization pushes and clean rig deletion

The How…

Big Picture

  • We create basic dag building blocks we call rigBlocks.
  • They’re connected to other blocks via message and other connections
  • Options are set on those rigBlocks
  • Those rigBlocks are pushed through the various states: define>template>prerig>skeleton>rig
  • After the rig is complete, post processes are applied to prep the asset
  • The asset is completed by the td: skinning,shaders, etc

How are you using it?

  • UNITY Production – Actively being used to generate assets for gigs and internal development
  • Testing concepts – Grab a sketch and template it up and generate a decent looking model to boot
  • Iterative setups – Have a templated asset and they change the model? Just tweak the template, rebuild and go

The Why…

Why bother with another rigger?

When we were looking for what we wanted to do there wasn’t any doing the rapid character approximation like we wanted. We also had a large part of the core of what it needed to do with years of R&D with Morpheus 2.0 and Bokser’s own system. It made more sense for us to combine our ideas.

Game engine ready.

We didn’t see what we were looking for regarding game engine compliance in other riggers when we were looking.

Currently being used in production for Unity and Unreal.

Why non compiled modules rather than a regular plugin?

Compiling things can be tedious. We also like code to be easily visible so users can reuse things they like and help us fix what they don’t.

Why not just sell it as a plugin?

  1. We’d rather make it more accessible so that others can use it and help us improve the system. Their being able to get into the core of stuff with us makes that possible.
  2. We don’t want to deal with licensing and other legal issues involved with it.


MRS is in active development, this is what we’re using for our gigs and we’re actively iterating on it. It is changing and improving rapidly. We consider it in Beta.

Our current focus is Unity building so higher tier rig functionality hasn’t been implemented fully yet.

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.