Cogswell Students Release New 3D Animatable Rigs
January 27, 2016

Cogswell Students Release New 3D Animatable Rigs

SAN JOSE, CA — Cogswell College (, the educational institution offering a curriculum in digital art, engineering and entrepreneurship, has announced that students within its Digital Art & Animation program have released a second batch of 3D animatable rigs - depicting two original “human” digital characters - through the school’s in-house character program “Project Avatarah.”
The new 3D character rigs are bipeds—a male and a female named “Henry” and “Caroline” -- named after the founder of Cogswell College, Dr. Henry Cogswell, and his wife, Caroline. Simplicity was the main driving factor in the design of these new characters, as well as the rig. Cogswell students wanted these new rigs to have a simple control scheme to make the characters accessible to different skill levels, while also offering details as well as a wide range of motion. These rigs are meant to be used in subtle animations, with extreme actions and locomotive cycles.

With full facial rigs, and detailed control for clothing and secondary motion, the “Henry” and “Caroline” characters contain a great amount of controls, yet they are simple and easy to use.  They provide the conventional features such as IK/FK switching for limbs and spine, the ability to change the parent of controls mid-animation using space-switching, and rotation orders set up in a way to reduce gimbal locks. At Cogswell, these rigs are used for upper level animation courses, mostly used in Pantomime, Dialogue pieces, and student short films.

To download these 3D rigs, visit:

The first character from “Project Avatarah,” called “Cogswell the Dragon,” was released via open source data to the general public during Spring 2014. As of today that first release has enjoyed a total of well over 1400 downloads.

The new 3D animatable rigs from Cogswell College are of the highest quality, and are expected to stand out in the middle of the vast world of “freebie” rigs available online. In addition to the first three characters released, the two Bipeds and “Cogswell the Dragon,” additional characters from Cogswell will include “Toothy” the Saber toothed tiger, “Snowy” the dog and “Thunder” the horse, “Chippy” the squirrel, “Chubby” the rabbit, “Flappy” the bird, and several others.  Students around the world regularly seek interesting rigs to download, so that they can use them within their own portfolios as they animate original content based on these rigs.

Jonali Bhattacharyya, Associate Professor with Cogswell College’s Digital Art & Animation program, and formerly with noted game companies Secret Level and Factor5, spearheads the Cogswell student-developed 3D animatable rigs project, in concert with game industry professional Sergio Sykes. Sykes, currently with Insomniac Games and formerly with Emotiv and Massive Black, is involved with the Cogswell program as an industry rigging artist and Adjunct Faculty Member.

Regarding the newest 3D rigs being released through “Project Avatarah,” Bhattacharyya said, “Since our first release of 'Cogswell the Dragon,' we have received tremendous and amazing feedback and comments from people all over the world. For us at ‘Project Avatarah,’ helping our students, students at other colleges, and individual animators, is the most satisfying factor of all. Today, classes at Cogswell College are self-sufficient, with high quality rigs built in-house. And we are very proud that the animation community has received our first release very positively. Now with the release of our newest characters –this set of Bipeds named ‘Henry’ and ‘Caroline,’ we are pleased to give animators everywhere some variety. We hope that other animators love animating our rigs as much as we do!”