Saturday, December 14, 2013

Free Maya Rig: Bow and Arrow

I'm posting a download link for a rig that I created for one of my shots, The Archer. I've received a few requests for the rig since posting the shot, and as far as I can tell there is no other free bow and arrow rig for Maya online, so I decided I would just release it for anybody who wants it!

I think it's pretty easy to use, and I'm including usage notes in the compressed file, but if there are any questions feel free to shoot me an email.

The files were saved in Maya 2013, but should work fine in earlier versions. I haven't personally tested it with anything earlier than 2011.

Download directly: Click Here
Download from Creative Crash: Click Here

The rig is perfectly free and I have no intention of limiting what is done with it, but I do simply ask that you give me appropriate credit if you use it for anything that gets posted online. Thanks!


  1. Josh, firstly let me thank you for sharing your bow rig, it's very excellent of you to do so plus your animation The Archer is superbly done. You're a brilliant animator.
    I'm very new to animation and constraints but not new to Maya for modelling etc. In your help file you say to constrain the bowMasterCtrl to the hand. Would you mind telling me which constraints should be used for the hands in general - I'm using HIK control rig btw, I tried a parent constraint but it doesn't stay settled in the hand properlly. I'm also not really sure what the arrow hand should be constrained to too or how. *embarrassed face* There's lots of gun constraint maya tuts on the net but nothing really regarding archery and it seems to be a very different animal.

    Thanks for any tips. :)

  2. Actually I've manage to work out the bow hand with a Point and Orient and I've almost worked out the string hand. I'm constraining the DrawCtrl to the right wrist control locator with a point constraint and it works in that the string pulls back with the hand but its not locked to the fingers. It floats around behind them and through them. I guess because it can only move on one axis and its dependent on the bow hands angle. Yours looks nicely locked to your characters fingers, did you just keyframe it to look that way or is there something extra going on?

  3. Hey man, sorry for the taking a bit to respond. What you you actually want to do is parent the hand to bowMasterCtrl (the master control should be the "parent" and the hand should be the "child"). Select the bow's control, then select the hand's control, click on the "Constrain" menu at the top and click on the options box next to the "Parent" option. The most important thing is that you make sure "maintain offsets" is checked before you apply the parent constraint. This will make sure your hand stays in the location that you want it. Do the exact same thing with the hand on the bow string, but make sure you parent it to the stringSlideCtrl, instead of drawCtrl.

    Let me know if that works out for you or if anything is confusing.