Jeremie Passerin is a TD and Rigger who has put a huge amount of time, thought and effort into an open source rigging toolset for Softimage, which he calls GEAR.
Very cool. But, you say, it’s for softimage and my stinking studio makes me use Maya. Well, Maya users, have hope. Jeremie has also been beta testing a Maya version, called MGEAR.
Let’s face it, there are more animators needing high quality rigs than there are high quality riggers. And rigging takes a lot of time. That’s why autoriggers came into being. If you are laboriously assembling all your rigs by hand and you just want to get to animating, you really, really need to be using a solution like Gear.
GEAR has the openness and enough well -thought tools to appeal to a dedicated rigging TD while also providing a fast and reliable way for animators to generate sophisticated rigs with a minimal learning curve. It’s modular in design, meaning it isn’t restricted to rigging only humanoids or quadrupeds, and it’s extensible, so riggers can use GEAR as a framework upon which they build in their own particular style.
It’s a very well thought out system and highly recommended for small studios and individual animators who need good rigs fast, as well as riggers interested in having the capabilities of an autorigging framework without the desire (or time) to make their own.