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Let's cover the basics..

  • Ragdoll requires a commercial licence for commercial use
  • Ragdoll is free for non-commercial use
  • Ragdoll is free for testing within a commercial environment

About activation..

  • A commercial licence is activated with a Product Key
  • Get a Product Key by purchasing a licence
  • A non-commercial licence is activated automatically on launch
  • A non-commercial licence expires 30 days after activation

See also

Ragdoll Apprentice

Once activated without a Product Key, Ragdoll enters "Apprentice Mode", and is limited to the following.

  • Non-commercial projects
  • Ragdoll Apprentice cannot be used in the same pipeline as commercial versions of Ragdoll
  • Ragdoll Apprentice uses its own file format for Maya scenes

See the Ragdoll EULA for details.


Let's dive into specifics.

How does it work?

On first launch, Ragdoll will try and connect to the Ragdoll Licence Server and register your trial version. This version is node-locked to the particular machine you are on.

Once you've acquired a product key, you can either:

  1. Click the Ragdoll menu item (bottom)
  2. Enter your product key
  3. Click Activate

Or if you prefer:

from ragdoll import licence

What happens when my trial expires?

Any rdScene.enabled attribute will be set to False.

Scenes will still load just fine and nothing else in your scene is affected. Once activated, the .enabled attribute will return to normal.

Can I renew my trial licence?

Possibly. Reach out to us if this is relevant to you.

Can I open scenes made with the trial version in the commercial version?


Files made with Ragdoll Apprentice will appear scrambled with a commercial version. Ragdoll Apprentice is however able to read files saved with a commercial version.

Can I use my licence on more than one machine?

  • Yes, for Ragdoll Personal
  • No, for Ragdoll Complete, Unlimited and Batch

With Ragdoll Personal, you can activate and use each Ragdoll licence on up to 3 machines. You just can't run a simulation on more than 1 machine per 1 licence at any given time, that could lead to suspension of the licence.

Can I move a licence between two machines?


You can hit the Deactivate button (which is same as the Activate button once you've activated) and the activation will be released.

Do I need an internet connection to use Ragdoll?


Activation can happen either offline or online, online happening from within Maya at the click of a button and offline being a 4-step process, see below.

How do I use my floating licence?

Floating licences have two parts.

  1. A self-hosted licence server
  2. The Ragdoll plug-in

Whenever Ragdoll is loaded from Maya, it connects to your licence server in order to "lease" a licence. If you own 10 licences, then one of them will remain leased until the plug-in is unloaded from Maya.

See also

Can I activate offline?


See Offline Activation below.

When exactly is internet required?

A connection is made in one of two separate occasions.

  1. Calling ragdoll.licence.install() from Python
  2. On simulating any frame

install() is typically called when the plug-in is loaded and menu is installed.

That is, Maya can open a scene with Ragdoll in it without making a connection to the internet if neither of these things happen. This means you can simulate on one machine, bake or otherwise disable the solver and send it off to a farm (e.g. local or cloud) without worrying about licences.

The alternative would be having to erase any trace of Ragdoll from a scene which would be such a pain.

Can I manage my licence via Python?

Sure can, see below.

Licence API

As a user, you'll generally use the UI. But the UI is ultimately making calls to Python (which is making calls to C++) and you can bypass the UI using these same calls.

from ragdoll import licence

# Called once before calling any other licencing function
# This is automatically called on Ragdoll Python initialisation
# and simulation start, but needs calling manually if simulation
# hasn't yet started.

# Retrieve the currently activated product key

# Activate using your product ket

# Activation for those without access to Internet
licence.activation_request_to_file(key, fname)

# Deactivate whatever key is currently activated

# Deactivate offline, to e.g. move a licence from one machine to another

# Dictionary of useful information
data =

    # Same as current_key
    "key": "Your-Key",

    # Is the current licence activated?
    "isActivated": True,

    # Is the current licence a trial licence?
    "isTrial": False,

    # Has the licence not been tampered with?
    "isGenuine": True,

    # Has the licence been verified with the server
    # (requires a connection to the internet)?
    "isVerified": True,

    # How many days until this trial expires?
    "trialDays": 23

Offline Activation

Haven't got no internet?

No problem, here's what you need to do.

  1. Generate an "activation request", a file
  2. Send us this file, via email
  3. Receive a "activation response", another file
  4. Activate using this file

It requires pasting some Python commands into the Maya Script Editor.

Generate Request

from ragdoll import licence
fname = r"c:\ragdoll_activation_request.xml"
licence.activation_request_to_file(key, fname)

Email Us

Send this file to We'll abrakadabra this file before you can say Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu.


Once you've got a response, activate your licence like this.

from ragdoll import licence
fname = r"c:\ragdoll_activation_response.xml"

Offline Deactivation

Licences are node-locked (floating licences coming soon), which means that if you need to move a licence from one machine to another you can do so by deactivating an activated licence, and then activating it elsewhere.

The process is similar to activation.

Generate Request

from ragdoll import licence
fname = r"c:\ragdoll_deactivation_request.xml"

Email Us

Send this file to Once we have confirmed receipt of this file, you will be able to re-activate Ragdoll on another machine.

Offline Licence Roadmap

Apologies for the tedious nature of offline licence management at the moment! Not long from now, you will be able to manage your licences online without sending any emails.

Last update: 2021-08-27