Monday, September 12, 2011

Malcolm Character Now Freely Available

Before there was such a thing as AnimSchool, I had a personal dream: I wanted to make very flexible, appealing, and expressive characters that people all over the world could use for free.

AnimSchool gave me the perfect excuse to fulfill that dream. I can make cool characters that many people can use, either to animate or to learn modeling and rigging--and that effort can help promote AnimSchool.

Malcolm is pretty nice. There are certainly better body rigs out there, but the face is where I put most of my love and attention. The Disney style from the 1960's is my greatest inspiration. I strived to make the face capable of a wide range of expression - and do it with appeal.

I'm absolutely captivated by appealing characters--mostly from the classic 2D films, Warner shorts, then from character designers. I'm driven to bring characters like that to life in the medium of 3D Animation.

You can see some of the capabilities of a variant of Malcolm here:

I also put a lot of effort into keeping the rig very light, because I wanted it fast fast fast! It runs real-time on my i7 processor. So there are corners cut in lots of places, compared to a typical film rig. But if I did my job right, you won't notice them, because the rig was carefully developed with the aesthetic result in mind. I know the kinds of poses an animator will want--because I'm an animator too.

Malcolm was made with the amazing capabilities of Softimage. The Softimage version of Malcolm was released today--and already it's going like hotcakes (free things often do that!)

The updates to the Maya version will be completed in about a week; possibly longer. Then students and interested onlookers can check out the Maya version. (There are some restrictions on using Malcolm)

We will continue with fixes, wardrobe changes--and new characters. If you like what you see, wait 'til you see what's coming from AnimSchool!

So enjoy this result of lots of work, and the fulfillment of a dream. And honor my dream by spreading the word about AnimSchool and our characters!

Dave Gallagher


  1. I can't wait for the Maya rig. Keep up the great work, and I really am looking forward to using this!

  2. I all ways dreamed about that, what feature filfm rig looks like. My dream come trough. Thanks.

  3. Thanks! I posted a new version with some fixes. You can download the new version using the same link you were sent (for one day)

  4. Thanks Guys.. This rig is amazing.. I never animate a character with a rig so good..super-expressive!! Great Synoptic view.. wow.. I'm so exciting

  5. Thanks Rodrigo! You're very welcome.

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  7. Thank you for making this rig available !
    I've just downloaded the file so I can't comment much, but I appreciate the whole idea behind it !
    Best of wishes from Australia !

  8. Hi David,

    I'm really excited to see the rig in the Maya version as I am considering your modeling and rigging program, I'm curious how the move to the Maya version is progressing.

    Thanks so much for sharing and I look froward to seeing more here on the blog about AnimSchool.


  9. Hi! We don't have a release date, but check back in a week or more.

    Thanks so much!
    Dave Gallagher

  10. Hello, thanks for this rig I'm really excited to play with it. Is there more documentation on how to set up the rig? I can't get the Synoptic to work. Is it supposed to work right away or do we have to set it up? Thank you for time.

  11. Never mind I got it to work :) Excited!

  12. Hi! We're going to post a video on how to use the rig very soon. We're still tweaking, so standby.

    The Maya version is begin beta-tested now. Almost ready for release!


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