Ragdoll July Challenge

Hey Everyone!

It’s time for our first Ragdoll Challenge! Are you excited? I know I am.


To the winners, 16 licences totalling $7000 worth of prizes are on the line!

Product Value Licence
1x Ragdoll Unlimited $1,999 Lifetime
5x Ragdoll Complete $799 Lifetime
10x Ragdoll Personal £99 Lifetime


I guess there should be some rules… I’d like to think of them more as Guidelines.

# Guideline Description
1 Freeform Exploration The more features you use, the greater the chances of success
2 Keep it short Don’t worry about doing anything long form, anywhere from 4-10 seconds is more than enough time. But if you’re feeling adventurous, go nuts.
3 Must use Crab You can use any rigs and assets you wish, but the crab needs to make an appearance
4 Four weeks Starting July 4th until July 31st Midnight PST don’t be late.
5 Playblast or Render Whichever you prefer
6 Post your progress on the forums Start a thread under Showcase and post updates to your work as you go
7 Fun! Last but not least, have fun!


To participate in this challenge, you will receive:

Resource Link Details
Licence Link :point_down: A full Ragdoll Unlimited licence for the duration of the competition
Crab Rig Link :point_down: Lightweight and robust
Support Link :point_down: Right here on the forums

Learning Resources

We’ve gathered all currently available tutorials for Ragdoll in one big giant thread here. :blush:


Let us know what you think, and stay tuned to this topic for updates! :partying_face:


You know I was never one to participate in challenges, but I may take up on this one, what would be nice is to get another livestream exploring some of the new features and seeing how you use Ragdoll for your shots, how much you handkey vs simulate

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Great idea! Aiming for one for next Wednesday the 29th 9:30 am PST :slight_smile:


I’ll make sure not to miss it!

How we can partecipate?

I’d love to participate. A good way to get to know the plug-in and features better.

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Here’s the timeline.

  • Next Friday, we’ll upload the crab asset and provide a licence for anyone to use.
  • From then, all you do is animate something cool and post it here.
  • Towards the end of July, we’ll consider everything posted and declare the winners.

You’re welcome to post work-in-progress and ask for any kind of help during this time as well. So have a think about something you could do with a crab character, something that’d look cool with physics and maybe you’ll get yourself a free licence. :blush:

There are 16 of them, so I’d imagine just about everyone who participates will get one haha. Question is, who will get the Ragdoll Unlimited version?


Thank you for clarifying the timeline! This is such great timing for me, because I see lots of storytelling potential by incorporating the toolset into my workflow, but so far I haven’t been able to get my head around how to best apply the ragdoll to my rigs. Working with the crab is a great opportunity to gain that understanding, as I presume it represents best practice for setting up a rig and animation system. I look forward to this kicking off next week.




Looking forward to it!


Looking forward to trying this out to and hopefully create something fun :smiley:


Sounds fun! Might use this time to finally learn Ragdoll :laughing:

First need to get all this work out of the way. Looking forward to this!


We’ll be doing a livestream in 3 hours where Jason will cover the competition and I’ll walk through the new Locomotion feature.

It will be recorded, so if we don’t see you there today, we’ll see you there whenever you see this message. :blush:


Crab Rig :crab:

Here it is, the crab!

Previous Versions

Have a look at the livestream above along with these new videos below for how to use it effectively.


A very simple, FK-only rig (that can also be scaled!)


Reset all controllers to their default value by setting all translate and rotate values to 0.


Controls can be overlaid on-top of the mesh via the x-ray mode.


Unhide the solver and show Plugin Shapes to see the simulation.


Recording works as you’d expect, animation ends up on each individual FK control.

The havoc happening during the livestream was due to the new Closed Loop option in the Record dialog, so ensure to untick that when recording the crab. It doesn’t have any loops anyway.


Since the rig is FK-only, you can apply locomotion to pins instead.

  1. Select body
  2. Select each foot
  3. Ragdoll → Constrain → Pin
  4. Ragdoll → Assign Plan

A licence server and install instructions coming up next!

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Download and Licence

Here’s how to get started with your creation.

Step 1

Download and Install Ragdoll Dynamics, if you haven’t already.


Step 2

Copy/paste and run this script in your Script Editor, in a Python tab.

import os
from maya import cmds
from ragdoll import ui as rui, interactive as ri

text = """\
Start a new scene and activate Ragdoll Unlimited \
for the July July 2022 Competition?

if rui.MessageBox("Activate Competition Licence", text):
    os.environ["RAGDOLL_FLOATING"] = "july.ragdolldynamics.com:8003"
    cmds.file(new=True, force=True)
    assert not cmds.pluginInfo("ragdoll", query=True, loaded=True), (
        "Had trouble reloading Ragdoll, try restarting "
        "Maya and running this script again"

    cmds.warning("Cancelled, nothing changed")

Your Maya will now have a fully loaded Ragdoll licence until you restart Maya.

Step 3

Start making something, and create your own thread in the new Competition category.

I’ve made a little example contribution to illustrate how to get started. :blush:

For any questions, feel free to post here or start a new thread under the Help Category.

Enjoy, and let’s go!

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when I enter the competition code, it says

“// Warning: Ragdoll: Could not get a lease, see console for details”
// ragdoll.on_floating() - Ragdoll is floating

a pop up opens saying “request lease” / “continue”

then when I press “request” it says in messages “failed to acquire a lease” and all my markers disappear

is there something I can do to fix that?

Hm, is your machine connected to the internet? That is a requirement, as the licence server is online.

Hi all, hope all is going well with the competition so far! :partying_face:

We’ve updated the crab asset above with some minor tweaks. Use the same download link.

  1. Procedural texture for some extra flare
  2. Fixed scaling of one of the leg pieces
  3. Refined the constraints keeping legs attached to the body


Giving this thread some spotlight in case anyone else experiences the 100 frame limit even after running the above getting started script.

Pushing another update to the crab rig with 3 changes, see the same link above.

  1. Much stronger stiffness, at lower values
  2. More more effective Pin Constraint at tips, for e.g. Locomotion
  3. Less groups

For stiffness, check this out!

Super strong. These are stiffness values between 0.01 → 1.0. (No more values approaching 100,000 and beyond)

For pins, you should also find that values less than 100 to be a reasonable max for a very hard pin, as opposed to 100,000 and beyond).

Also rearranged the groups for a little less complexity; you can now edit all feet from a single group (as opposed to 1 group per foot, 8 in total).


Behind the Scenes

For your own reference, here are some notes on how these things were made possible.

In both feet and tips, it was a problem of mass. The tips are especially damning, as they are tiny tiny tiny. Ragdoll would treat these as any other part of the crab, and compute a mass relative its size. Because it is so small, it would get a very small mass.

You might wonder what mass has got to do with anything. We aren’t interested in them weighing down on the foot, and it doesn’t seem related to stiffness? :thinking: But! Such is life. Ragdoll is all about forces, and any force is relative the mass upon which it acts. Between the tip and the last joint of the crab foot is a force keeping them together, and when one of them is heavy and the other light, the more complicated it gets for Ragdoll to keep them together, hence values that reach into the thousands.

For the legs, I took a slightly different route. I didn’t want the feet to appear more heavy - especially not heavier than the body. So instead editing its mass, it now has a slightly edited Rotate Mass.

This attribute is mostly unexplored, so I’m curious what you think of this and whether you run into anything odd. Things to look out for is any strangeness in the rotation of any part of a leg. As if it’s resisting rotation, almost like Air Density on the solver.