Creatures in Motion

About this Course:

This 8-session intermediate class will cover the animal anatomy and workflow in Autodesk Maya for photoreal creature animation using a jaguar rig. You will build poses and complete the spine motion as you create the walk cycle for the jaguar. Along the way you will learn about overlapping animation and animation layers to complete the walk and save it as a library action. 


  • Knowledge of Maya interface including some basic animation workflows involving the graph editor, keyframe manipulation, and timing.
  • Some experience with animating biped/human rigs will help but is not essential.


  • Posing animals in maya and rig controls standards. Begin to pose the jaguar rig!
  • Animal anatomy for animators. Complete Emotion poses on the jaguar rig. 
  • Mechanics of a quad walk cycle. Create 3 poses to start a walk with the jaguar.
  • Quadruped walk cycle workflow in Maya.  Add to the jaguar walk and start on the spine motion.
  • Animal gaits! Walks trots gallops! Complete the spine motion in the jaguar walk!
  • Animating tails and overlap in animals! Add the head and tail actions to the jaguar walk.
  • Front view and ¾ view jaguar walk details  Adding animation layers onto top of the walk. 
  • Analyzing quadruped jumps.Complete the walk cycle and save it as a library action


About Our Faculty:

Ruth Daly is an Animation Supervisor at Tau Films. She has worked as a traditional and CG animator spending many years at Rhythm & Hues (R&H) Studios, 2001-2013 where she worked her way up to a supervisory role. She also played a central role in growing and mentoring the animation teams at  the R&H India and Malaysia facilities.

Ruth received a Diploma in Classical Animation from BallyFermot Senior College in Dublin (Ireland).