Rigging Academy

Hardcore Animation Training for Motion Designers.

Learn to Create Professional Character Rigs in Adobe After Effects

Rigging is the unsung hero of Character Animation

Rigging is the unsung hero of Character Animation

Character Animation takes a lot of know-how and practice no matter how you dp it. But if you're working with 2D or 3D animation software, great character animation also takes something else: a well-built rig. A bad rig makes animation difficult, inefficient, and limits your range of movement. A good rig will give you a greater range of motion, but more importantly make the animation process easier and more intuitive allowing the animator to focus on the most important thing – the character’s performance.

Become a rigging MacGyver

Become a rigging MacGyver

Rigging Academy is designed to teach you how to rig just about ANYTHING. There are some core principals at the heart of Rigging that you’ll learn which can be applied to humans, animals, aliens, robots, cartoon characters… just about any type of creature you can think up. Once you know the basics, the trick is to know how to handle edge cases… and that’s where this course really shines.

What will you learn in Rigging Academy?

Character Prep

Learn to prepare your artwork for rigging the right way so you can be animating in no time.

Rigging 101

What makes a good rig? How many controls do you need to build in? FK or IK? It depends.

Options Galore

Puppet-pins or jointed limbs? How about hybrid joints? Heel-roll? Hip roll? You'll learn 'em all.

DUIK Wizardry

Learn to use many of the functions in DUIK to automate tedious rigging tasks.

Facial Rigging

Facial rigging can be complex, but we'll break it down and show you how to pull off amazing facial rigs.

Advanced Concepts

What about 4-legged characters? Props? Level-swapping? You'll be a rigging wizard at the end of Rigging Academy.

Morgan Williams

Morgan Williams

Course Instructor

Morgan has been a professional animator and animation director for over 20 years. He has created work for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston and have been the recipient of several awards including a local ADDY®, a Telly, and a Best in Show award at Minnesota Siggraph. His short film work has been screened at festivals around the world including the Philadelphia International Film Festival and the Annecy International Animation Festival. Morgan is also a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design.

Morgan's Clients Include:

  • Jenny LeClue
  • Sony
  • BBC
  • Comedy Central
  • Flickerpix
  • WGBH

Course Format

Go at your own pace.

Rigging Academy is not a timed course like our Bootcamps. As soon as you purchase the course, you gain access to everything. We’ve designed the course to work as not only as an amazing training program for Character Rigging, but also as a reference that you can come back to whenever you need a refresher or a new technique.

You get lifetime access to the course once you purchase it, so go through it at your own pace and come back as often as you like.

You're not in this alone

It’s all here.

This course is, in true School of Motion fashion, packed to the GILLS with information. We’ve organized everything neatly into chapters, and you can go through the course at your own pace as you see fit.

There are over 15 hours of video lessons, dozens of pages of PDFs to reference, and more project files than you can shake a puppet pin at. We were very thorough in building Rigging Academy.

Laser-Focused Feedback

Use it or lose it.

There is a ton of info packed into this course, and we want to make sure you’re learning… not just casually watching. We’ve created some challenges for you to take on after each main lesson. You’ll be able to test out your new knowledge to see if you can solve a rigging challenge, and the watch a Solution video to see if you got it right.

Sure, you can skip the exercises, but one of our core philosophies here at School of Motion is that we want our training to be EFFECTIVE, and frankly it won’t be if you don’t use the knowledge after learning it. So we suggest you do the exercises.

This Week in Bootcamp

Got questions? We got answers.

Rigging Academy includes a Q&A feature, moderated by Morgan and the team, for you to ask questions related to the course. Having trouble grasping something from the lesson? Post a question up and and you’ll get clarification.

This information is dense, so use this feature to make sure you’re really “getting” the concepts. You can read through questions and answers that have been submitted already, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for you can post your own question.
Go even deeper into the Design rabbit-hole every Wednesday!

Access hundreds of Project Files

Tons of rigs to explore.

You’ll be able to download complete character rigs for every character you meet in this course. You’ll see Morgan rig in dozens of different ways, and you’ll be able to open up his After Effects projects to dig deeper into anything you’re curious about. You’ll see bipeds, quadrupeds, and many different ways of rigging limbs, torsos, and even faces!

Access hundreds of Project Files

Bootcamp Schedule

Rigging for Rookies

Start by getting the lay of the land. Learning some rigging basics, make sure your tools are set up properly, and dive into your first lesson. Why do we even need rigs in the first place? You’ll know soon enough.

Rigging for Rookies

Character Construction

Before you can rig anything, your character’s artwork has to be prepped. How this is done depends on the character design, and there are many ways to skin this cat. You’ll learn just about all of them in this section.

Character Construction

Arms to Hold You

You’ll learn more about arms than you ever thought possible. We go into jointed arms, puppet tool arms, and even combination arms and blended joints. You’ll have an arsenal of arm options at your disposal soon enough.

Arms to Hold You

Hand Crafting

What good are arms without hands? As with any rigging task, there are options here. You’ll learn how to build mechanical hands (hands that actually animate) as well as how to make replacement hands which are easier to implement.

Hand Crafting

A Firm Footing

Time to rig the legs. Legs are like arms with feet on the end, and feet can be tricky. Find out how to make everything work correctly and add some controls for things like heel and toe roll. Break a leg.

A Firm Footing

Core Training

Rigs often neglect the stomach, chest, and shouldersof a character. Learn a bit of basic anatomy and set up controls that will give your character a much greater range of movement and emotion. Don’t neglect the abs.

Core Training

Face Time

The eyes are the window to the soul, especially in character animation. Learn how to build a face rig that will give you the control you need to emote with your character. We go even deeper in the last chapter.

Face Time

Limbs Unlimited

Now we start getting fancy. Find out how to add auxiliary controls for knees and elbows, how to add and work with props, how to deal with level-swapping, and how to utilize a handy feature called rotation morphing.

Limbs Unlimited

Advanced Topics

The final chapter goes to the next level of rigging. Learn about quadruped rigs, faux-3D facial rigs, alternative rigging tools, and how to clean up a rig for production use if you’re handing things off.

Advanced Topics

And once you’ve reached the end?

At the end of Course you are inducted into the Alumni Facebook Group where you can post your final projects, meet students from previous sessions, and continue to keep in touch with your new compadres. The networking that takes place in this group is priceless, and many students have gotten freelance work from the connections they’ve made in this course.


Rigging Academy Alumni Testimonials

Sara KopkeMotion Designer - Higi

I have yet to find something similar that can come close to touching the comprehensive knowledge here. If you find character animation a portion of the motion graphics world you’d like to conquer I’d suggest this class as a necessity.

Matt CallaghanCreative Director - Inklish

Rigging Academy is the course I’ve waited years for. No other course as thorough exists. Everything I wanted to know is all here and it’s amazing! Morgan does a superb job in breaking down every element, every expression, and every meaning behind what he does and how he does it. The secrets of incredible character rigs are a mystery no more. I highly, highly recommend this course. It has absolutely changed my approach to character design & rigging for the better.

Flora BelleMotion Designer - Université de Poitiers

Morgan always shows many ways to achieve a result and this is really valued. I’m totally thankfull for that. Moreover, the characters and rigs in the course are beautiful and pleasant to work with. I would definitely recommand this bootcamp for people who are (as I was) scared to dig by themselves into this deep subject! This course is not easy but you’ll definitely learn more than you can ever imagine. Morgan performed this feat to make rigging attractive and understandable.

What's included with the course?

There is a ton of content in Rigging Academy, but it's given to you in measured doses to ensure you don't burn out.

The Rigging Academy program contains

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  • 15 hours of video instruction
  • 9 Characters created just for Rigging Academy
  • Over 32 pages of PDF reference material
  • A moderated Q&A Forum for the course
  • Lifetime Access

Pay all at once


Pay the full amount all at once. The simplest, lowest-cost option.

Let's do it

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