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WZ Rig Update: Textures for everyone!

Sterling Reames

WZ Rig Update: Textures for everyone!

World Zombination character animation rig v1.2

UPDATE 6-17-2015: Fixed vert weighting on the Brute’s neck! Download the updated rig here.

Thank you all for showing interest in the World Zombination character animation rig! Over the last year, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback, and we’ve heard you loud and clear. That’s why we’ve decided it’s time to give the people what they want…TEXTURES!!!! Also worth mentioning is that there’s an important fix to the eyes on the rig. It was a long time coming, but now the characters should look and control just like the characters in the game!

That being said, there are some stipulations. We’ve licensed the rig under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License and are offering it to the public for learning/hobby purposes only. Absolutely no selling of the characters, or games/products you create with World Zombination character likenesses is allowed. However, demo reels and class/learning/free projects are all fair game. The only instance in which you can use the World Zombination rig for a commercial product is if you use your own original character models on the rig (step by step instructions on how to add your own characters are included). When you do make something with the WZ rig, please share it with us (and give credit as well)! We are always excited to see how people are using it, and are happy to share your projects!

That’s all good gravy, but what if you’ve already done a bunch of animation work with the old WZ rig? The good news is, you don’t have to redo anything! There are a few different workflows in Autodesk Maya you can use to update to the new textured hotness without losing a minute of animation work.

Method 1: Replacing a reference

My go-to method for updating a rig is replacing the rig reference. If you don’t know what referencing is, it’s already too late to use this method to update the rig, but going forward I would highly recommend this workflow. Not only does referencing make updating a rig easier, it also locks down certain nodes, making it near impossible to break a rig, and easier to fix when it does break. To replace a rig reference go to File>>Reference Editor, then in the popup editor select the rig and go to Reference>>Replace Reference. Just select the new rig file, wait for Maya to load the new rig, and presto!

Method 2: Copy and Paste Keys

If you haven’t referenced the rig, no worries! You can copy and paste the keys onto the new rig. First, import the new rig file directly into your animation scene. Once the new file is imported, select all the animation controls on the animated rig first (make sure bones/lights/cameras aren’t selected). In the timeline at the bottom of the screen, hold Shift and click the first frame of your animation, then drag to the last frame of your animation. The bottom timeline should now be highlighted bright red. Right click on the highlighted timeline and select “Copy”. Now select all the animation controls on the new rig, right click the timeline again, and select “Paste”. The animation should have flawlessly copied over! The last thing to do is to delete all the extra nodes left over from the original rig. If your animation didn’t copy over exactly as expected, check to make sure all the correct controls have been selected. If you’ve switched IK/FK modes you will need to switch those modes on the imported rig before copy and pasting. You may find there are specific control’s curves that need to be copied and pasted separately.

Method 3: ATOM import/export

ATOM stands for Animation Transfer Object Model. In the past, animation import/export in Maya was a nightmare. Thankfully, Autodesk added this handy tool in Maya 2013. Open up your animation file, select all your controls, then go to Animate>>ATOM>>Export Animation (the default options should be fine here). Then open up your new rig scene, select all your controls again, and navigate to Animate>>ATOM>>Import Animation this time. The only option to set on import is “Time Range” to “From File,” otherwise your animation may come in animating faster than you want.

That’s it! If you’re having trouble updating the rig, just email me at and I will do my best to help out. Please let me know if there are any more problems with the rig.

Happy animating!

Click here to download the World Zombination character animation rig

In lieu of having snazzy images to show, here are some snazzy animations made from our community. Thanks guys!


Kyle Dahl

MinSeok Jeon


 Kylie Bishop

Dieguito Pritchett

Jason McArthur

Nico Corrao

Toni  Buenavida

Eric Schongar


Sterling Reames,

Senior Animator

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