Best Resources for Rigging in Blender 3D

Article by Todor Nikolov (CGDive) about Rigging in Blender. Hope you’ll find it useful, please leave a comment also if you would like to suggest other topics to be cover in the future. Enjoy!

Intro

In this article, you’ll find a list of the best tutorials and courses for Rigging in Blender. Most resources are suitable for beginners. If you are trying to get started with rigging, get ready to bookmark a lot of links to cool learning materials! 

Initially, I created this list for a video on my Youtube channel. You can watch the video below:

Learn Rigging in Blender – BEST Courses and Tutorials by CGDive

The editors of 3dblendered.com asked me to compile an article about the same topic. There is a lot of overlap between the resources shared in the video and this article. But you will also discover additional materials below. 

Without further ado, let’s dive into the resources.


1. Official Learning Resources

1.1 The Blender Manual

The Blender Manual
The Blender Manual

We are spoiled by the many excellent video tutorials on Youtube etc. and we often forget that the creators of Blender are documenting every single feature in the Official Manual. In the Manual, you’ll find a section dedicated to Rigging & Animation. Do not neglect this recourse if you’re serious about learning Blender in general, and rigging in particular.

The Blender Fundamentals 2.8 Playlist:

Another great resource is this playlist found on Blender’s official Youtube channel. If you are new to Blender just start with the first video. And if you mostly want to learn about rigging in Blender, then start with “Rigging intro” (video #28) and keep watching. 


2. Comprehensive Rigging Courses

2.1 Pierrick Picaut – “The Art of Effective Rigging”

(Paid Course/Free Youtube Videos)

About the creator: “I’m an educational content creator, focussed on animation and rigging, Blender foundation certified trainer also working as a CG director and Lead animator at Atypique Studio on the Game NOARA.
My course teaches rigging in blender from scratch, from beginner level to advanced. The course focuses on rigging methods and understanding in order to rig anything from scratch whether it’s for game or feature.”

Links to Pierrick Picaut:


2.2 Jeannot Landry – “Hard Surface Rigging in Blender

(Paid Course/Free Videos & Resources)

About the creator: My name is Jeannot Landry, I am a PTSD traditional artist turned digital with a background in drawing, painting and sculpting clay (also sculpted ice a few times)! Now you could say that I am a 3D generalist with a specialization towards rigging and general animal/human anatomy! I’ve been using blender since 2008, started with version 2.49 and been hooked ever since! Prior to that I used many 3D apps like Bryce, 3D Studio Max, studied 3D animation at La Cite in Ottawa from 2001 to 2004 using Maya, then I tried Lightwave, Softimage XSI, Modo, etc…

All the gigs I ever got didn’t care about my traditional background or animation studies and the fact that I wanted to be a character artist for films and games! They only saw what they wanted/needed and it was rigs! I guess back then, riggers were hard to find, just like today! Which is why when I started using blender, rigging was like a natural thing to figure out first hand! Blender was probably the easiest of all the apps I’ve had to learn! Also the most versatile of them all! I guess you can also say I don’t rig the same way typical blender riggers that only ever knew Blender do! My way of rigging is a continuity to my previous 3D apps learning journey!

In collaboration with CreativeShrimp.com, I created an in-depth rigging course called Hard Surface Rigging, which should give you all the basic rigging knowledge in vanilla Blender 2.8+ (no addons) to get you started rigging just about anything that comes to mind!

If you’d like to see more of my rigs, there are a few free ones (as well as paid ones) on my gumroad (https://gumroad.com/blenderpirate) and more will be added in the near future (as I create stuff!)! You can also have a look at my ever so in need of new content youtube channel! (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNu7ZfOAaD-ZuvfMoy4Qh6w)! For recent stuff, I post it all on my twitter @JeannotLandry!

Links to Jeannot Landry:


2.3 Wayne Dixon(CG Cookie) – “Fundamentals of Rigging”

(Course available with a paid subscription service)

”Fundamentals of Rigging” is a brand new course available on cgcookie.com. CGCookie is a subscription website. For a monthly fee you get access to a large library of premium Blender tutorials that are not available anywhere else. 

Your tutor in the ”Fundamentals of Rigging” course will be Wayne Dixon, a highly experienced animator and rigger.

About the creator: Hey, guys! I’m the head animation instructor at CG Cookie. I have 15+ years of experience in animation, my mentors included some of the world’s best animators from Dreamworks – and I love to teach Blender. I believe learning should be a fun adventure, so I make sure there’s never a dull moment in my courses. If you have any questions, just ask away. Together, we can do this!

Link to CGCookie:


2.4 CGDive – “Rig anything with Rigify”

(Paid Course/Free Videos)

About the creator: My name is Todor and a few years ago I discovered the untapped power of Rigify. 
Rigify is an add-on that comes prepackaged with Blender. Many people are aware of the “Human meta rig”. However few seem to realize that Rigify is a modular rigging system. In other words, it offers building blocks like arms, legs, spines, tentacles etc. that can be combined in creative ways. These blocks can be used to rig almost any character with ease.
I recorded a comprehensive video course about Rigify and released the Basic chapters for free on Youtube. These videos alone will help you understand the Rigify workflow. More advanced chapters and in-depth rigging examples are available as a paid product.

Links to CGDive:


2.5 Konrad Hetko – “Face Rig In Blender”

(Paid Course)

Konrad Hetko - Face Rig In Blender
Konrad Hetko – “Face Rig In Blender”

In contrast to the other courses above this is a specialized course about facial rigging based on shape keys. 

Link: Face Rigging in Blender Tutorial


3. Blender Rigging Channels on YouTube

3.1 Level Pixel Level

About the creator: I’ve worked with Blender at small and large studios on 3D feature films, 2D cut-out animation, and game development. I’m hoping to share what I’ve learned with the community that has been so helpful to me as an artist over the years. 
My goal is to make the kind of videos I wish I had when I started rigging and working in Blender. 
I always include all of my example files for free for people to download and follow along with.
Links to Level Pixel Level:

  • Level Pixel Level Youtube channel
  • A good place for people to start is the rigging for animation series. Here I talk about core rigging features in Blender: Rigging For Animation
  • If people are interested in my full process the knight video series is a good place to start: Rigging A Knight For Games
  • And if people are looking for cut out 2D Grease Pencil Rigging, I have some great beginner courses: Grease Pencil Rigging

3.2 Dikko!

About the creator: Hi, Dikko, here! I’m a Freelancer, teacher and Youtube content creator based in Melbourne Australia. If the term “CG generalist” needed a picture in the dictionary, it would probably end up being my face plastered next to the definition. I practically work on anything, whether it’s modelling a character, rigging, animation, post-production or motion graphics, I’ve pretty much had to do all of it at some stage in my career. I think It’s a result of working in a country (and city) that has a relatively small pool of professional artists compared to others, which has allowed me to gain a pretty unique perspective of the creative industry.

In a world where many others in the professional sphere tell their students to specialise where they can, my philosophy is all about adaptability and teaching new artists that the process of learning is a skill in itself; one that must be embraced fully in order to become a better artist as a whole.

When asked what sets my rigging videos apart from others, I think it boils down to that. While it’s good to know how to build something step by step, it’s another thing to understand why you’re doing it, and it’s that initial understanding that I always try to inject into each one of my rigging videos. Apart from that, I always try to preface my videos from a point of practicality. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all rigging technique. Building a game rig is a lot different to building one for a movie, for instance – so it’s important to let the viewer know before they begin to go down the rabbit hole! The last thing you want is a character rig you can’t use! Finally, I imagine my audience as adults – people with important stuff to do, and don’t have time to be pandered to, or subjected to mindless preamble, so the language I use and the way I present the information comes from that space. Plus it gives the viewer something to chuckle about here and there!

I’d say the most successful rigging series is my “Beginners Guide to Rigging” Series which is one of the most popular playlists on my channel. It’s designed for the absolute beginner, and helps break down some of the most fundamental aspects of rigging.

I’m also currently working through a comprehensive series on character rigging. It’s a lot more heavy duty, but from the reception so far, people seem to be appreciating the depth!

Links to Dikko!:


3.3 Royal Skys LLC

About the creator: I believe wasting other people’s time is a capital sin, and I absolutely believe there’s no reason why learning 3D has to be so difficult. 
This channel is dedicated to providing you the simplest, fastest, and quality tutorials you’ve ever seen. Learning a new program is fantastic, but you should be spending most of your time using it, not learning it. I promise you there’s nothing complicated you can’t learn step by step, and I’m gonna prove it to you 1 tutorial at a time. 

Links to Royal Skys LLC:


3.4 Armin Halac

About the creator: Armin Halac has a long career in rigging and animation and has recently started sharing his vast knowledge on the topic. He has a Patreon and a complementary YouTube channel with dozens of in depth guides on how to create rigs where he also focuses on teaching you about the thought processes and reasoning behind how rigs are made.

I recommend starting with the Patreon channel, all tutorials are free by the way, and follow the well-presented guides that will get you comfortable with creating rigs in no time.

Links to Armin Halac:


3.5 Luciano Muñoz

About the creator: Luciano has 13 years of experience in the CG world, 11 of which he’s been a strong believer in Blender and the open-source software initiatives, he was a freelancer for a couple of years with clients from across the globe, a teacher at a few universities in Chile, owned a small studio for 4 years and in the 3 latest years he’s been working in VFX and animation feature films.

Currently he works in film animation by day and by night puts on his YouTuber cape to teach and spread knowledge about animation and rigging in blender aiming his channel at beginner animators and seasoned professionals that are looking to understand blender and incorporate it into their tool belt.

His channel stands off most blender youtube channels because of his deep understanding of production techniques and ideas that are used in the animation industry on a daily basis.
Always looking to help, always humble with a touch self deprecating humour his videos are usually deemed fun to watch but to the point.

Links Luciano Muñoz:


3.6 Index 3d

About the creator: My name is Gurlal Deep Singh, A self-taught artist from India and I’ve been a motion designer since 2014. I started in 3Ds Max  But eventually fell in love with Blender. My specialty is hard surface modeling, rigging, and product visualization, but Abstract art and looping animation is also a big part of what I love making.

I cover everything from rigging to complete animations On index 3d youtube channel. And I share content related to CGI, and mainly tutorials on Blender. But that’s just a part of it! My goal is to educate people on the awesome uses of Blender and have some fun along the way. I recently did a tutorial about hard surface / mechanical rigging which is hard to find on the internet.

My goal was to make the tutorial easy to understand, so I explained all the Blender constraints with a unique example, which not only made it easy, but also fun.

Links to Index 3d:


3.7 The Rigging Dojo

The Rigging Dojo - Blender 3D from Maya

About the creator: The biggest thing I try to bring to training someone is to meet them where they are and understand how they go there. I want to know what they know and how to help them improve and grow with what they have already. I try to expand and connect their skill set and help them understand when the tool is best used and why. The final goal is always to empower them to be able to continue learning well after the “teaching” is done.

Links to The Rigging Dojo:


3.8 Pierre Schiller / Activemotionpictures

About the creator: My name is Pierre Schiller, I am a 3D Animator & VFX Compositor with 20+ years of experience in commercial advertisement, video games, and VFX for cinema using a variety of software including Softimage, After Effects, Lustre, Flame, among others.

I’ve also worked as a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer in the last 4 years doing live and online workshops about sculpting, 2d grease pencil animation, and 3D experiences with 360º, AR, and VR for Snapchat and Spark lens filters using Blender.

Link Pierre Schillers:


3.9 Jim Kroovy

About the creator: Hello i’m Jim and i have been working with Blender since 2014 and Python since 2018 and i have learned many little tricks and become very familiar with almost every aspect of the Blender API so i figured it was high time i started making some improvements both for the Blender community and myself by turning all my scripts and ideas into add-ons. I thoroughly enjoy writing Python and i can easily spend 12-16 hours a day working in Blender on these add-ons (if i get the chance). I’m strongest with armatures and rigging and weakest with materials and lighting.

Links to Jim Kroovy:


3.10 Loïc Pinsard

Loïc’s channel is not for beginners. But if you want to learn some advanced rigging tips, I think you will enjoy his content.


4. Oldie but goodie

Old tutorials before Blender 2.8

In this category I will introduce rigging materials from before Blender 2.8. New Blender users may find them difficult to follow due to the interface differences. But I assure you that internally Blender has not changed that much. For anyone who is serious about rigging I would suggest giving older tutorials a try.

4.1 “Humane Rigging” by Nathan Vegdahl

“Humane Rigging” was probably Blender’s first-ever dedicated rigging course. It was created by Nathan Vegdahl who worked as a lead rigger in some of the earlier Blender Open Movies. He is also the initial developer of the Rigify addon. The information in this course has stood the test of time. The principles it teaches are still applicable today.
Initially this course was a paid product but as it became older it was released on youtube. All links below are to Playlists containing the Humane Rigging course. Since they are not official uploads it’s good to have multiple sources in case some of them disappear.


4.2 Short Film Character production

by Kent Tramel – CG Cookie (available with a paid subscription to CGCookie)

“Short Film Character production” is an in-depth course that demonstrates modeling, texturing, rigging and animating a character for production. The rigging section is very detailed and will teach valuable rigging techniques and principles. Only available with a paid subscription to cgcookie.com

Link: https://cgcookie.com/course/short-film-character-production

4.3 Dan pro

Dan pro’s Youtube channel holds a wealth of comprehensive rigging tutorials that range from basic to advanced, from organic to mechanical. Unfortunately, the creator stopped creating new content around two years ago. I’d be happy to see this channel revived!


4.4 Daniel Kreuter

A few years ago Daniel Kreuter created a short but insightful series on rigging. In it, he shows cool techniques like rigging clothing and dynamic hair. 

Daniel’s Rigging Series: Youtube Playlist


4.5 The d-dub show

Another Youtube channel with a lot of beginner friendly rigging and animation content for Blender 2.7 and earlier.


4.6 Nekomatat

Yet another channel that started really well with a series of well-presented rigging tutorials for Blender 2.7. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any recent updates.


Conclusion

I hope this article helps you get started on your rigging journey. Do you know of a great rigging course, video or article that we didn’t include in this blog post? Let us know in the comments!


Todor Nikolov (Toshicg/CGDive)

Todor Nikolov - Blender 3D - Rig ANYTHING with Rigify

Osaka, Japan – Skilled 3D professional with 6 years of experience using various 3d/2d tools and game engines. Extensive study of shading and lighting, realistic rendering techniques and artistic anatomy.

Links to Todor Nikolov

CG Dive (Aka Todor)

Resource from Todor


You can find also other tutorials on our website for different topics. Please, leave a comment also if you would like to suggest other topics to be cover in the future. 

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