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Menu Reference

All items found in the Ragdoll menu at the top of Maya's main window.

Add menu items to your shelf with Ctrl + Shift + Click


Item Description
Show Messages Display warnings and errors in the Message Board
Active Rigid Customise the creation of a new rigid body.
Passive Rigid Customise the creation of a new passive rigid body.
Muscle Make a muscle from the selected anchor points.
Constraint Constrain one rigid to another.
Point Constraint the position of two rigid bodies.
Orient Constrain the orientation of two rigid bodies.
Parent Constrain both the position and orientation of two rigid bodies.
Hinge A special kind of Socket Constraint
Socket Constraint the position and limit the orientation between two rigid bodies.
Passive Animate a passive rigid body with an external transform.
Guide Animate an active rigid body with an external transform.
Push Push rigids away from a point in space.
Pull Pull rigids towards a point in space.
Directional Like gravity, except in any arbitrary direction.
Wind Create a force similar to wind, with editable turbulence.
Visualiser Visualise 3D forces with a 2D slice, much like an MRI.

Assign to Selected
Assign force to the selected rigids.
Character Generate a character from the selected joint hierarchy.
Create Dynamic Control Create a new dynamic control from the currently selected regular control(s).
Multiply Selected Rigids Multiply keyable attributes on multiple rigid at once.
Multiply Selected Constraints Multiply keyable attributes on multiple constraints at once.
Edit Constraint Frames Edit the parent and child frames using a native Maya transform.
Duplicate Selected Create a new rigid, using the selected rigid as a template for position, orientation and shape.
Transfer Attributes Copy attributes from one rigid body to another.
Convert to Polygons Convert selected rigids and controls into polygons.

Normalise Shapes
Resize shapes within a hierarchy to avoid some being too different.
Set Initial State Re-establish the starting position and orientation of selected rigids.
Delete All Physics Clear the Maya scene of anything related to Ragdoll.
Ragdoll Preferences Edit global Ragdoll preferences, like the scale at which Ragdoll draws things.
Save Preferences Save Ragdoll preferences to disk.
Reset Preferences Restore Ragdoll preferences to their default values.
Select Rigids Select all rigids, or filter rigids from selection.
Select Constraints Select all constraints, or filter constraints from selection.
Select Scenes Select all scenes, or filter scenes from selection.
Select Controls Select all controls, or filter controls from selection.
Ragdoll View your version, and eventually look for updates and tutorials. Not yet though.


The top part of the menu contain commands to create new rigids.

Active Rigid

The rigid body, this outputs the translate and rotate channels that typically plug into your animation control. It lives as a shape, underneath your control, and is accessible via the Channel Box.

Rigids either output or input a transform. The active rigid outputs a transform, passing information from solver into your Maya scene.



Turn any native Maya polygon or NURBS object into a rigid by selecting it and clicking 'Active Rigid'.

Multiple Selection

Multiple Selection

When two or more objects are selected - whether it be polygons, NURBS or joints - they'll all be turned into rigids.

Blend Existing Animation

Blend Existing Animation

If the selected node(s) are animated, the animation can be used as a target for the subsequent simulation using the 'Blend' option.

Blend and Edit

Blend and Edit

Once turned into rigids, your original animation remains intact and can be edited just like before. You can also blend between the original input and final simulation via the blendSimulation node.

Passive Rigid

The passive rigid body feeds data from your animation control to Ragdoll, rather than the other way around like the Active Rigid. It's used to pass animation straight into the solver, without modifying it with forces or contacts. That also means passive rigids can travel straight through other rigids if not careful. You can think of a Passive Rigid as a physical object of infinite mass; nothing gets in its way.



Turn any polygonal, NURBS surface or joint into a rigid which can be animated but isn't affected by the simulation.


The muscle is a regular Active Rigid with two additional Point Constraints added to either end. The benefit is simply less clicks required.

Option Description Default
Aim Axis Which axis to treat as aim for the resulting muscle. X
Up Axis Which axis to treat as the up-axis for the resulting muscle. Y
Flex How much to allow the muscle to contract, from not-at-all to all-the-way. 0.75
Radius Capsule radius, how thick of a muscle to make. 1.0


Like normal Maya constraints, these limit the motion of one rigid relative another. For example, the Parent Constraint will make one rigid move as though it was a child of the other, whereas the Point Constraint will only limit position whilst letting orientation roam free.

Option Description Default
Constraint Type The type of constraint created. Point
Maintain Offset Keep rigids where they are, or snap them together. Offsets can be manipulated with the Edit Constraint Frames menu item. True
Auto Orient Orient constraint automatically by aiming towards the immediate child. Otherwise use the local orientation of the node. True
Standalone Give constraints their own transform at the root of the outliner.
Guide Strength Include some guide strength with this constraint. 1.0


Constraint the position of two rigid bodies.


Constrain the orientation of two rigid bodies. This doesn't have a physical equivalent, as you can't have something rotate the same as another object without also having some sort of positional relationship.


Constrain both the position and orientation of two rigid bodies. Useful for when you need multiple shapes for a single rigid.


Constraint the position and limit the orientation between two rigid bodies. Useful for things like shoulder and hip joints.


A special kind of Socket Constraint where the X-axis (a.k.a. 'twist') is rotated 90 degrees. This constraint is especially well suited for hinge-like appendages, like elbows and knees.


High-level control, either direct (kinematic, passive) or indirect (driven, guided).

Kinematic Control

Create a new Maya transform and use the world matrix as input for 'kinematic' a.k.a. 'passive' animation. This is the same as creating or converting to a Passive Rigid, except it allows for the rdRigid.kinematic attribute to be animated. This can be used to transition from animation into simulation and vice versa.

Option Description Default
No Options

Guide Control

Create a new Maya transform and use the world matrix as input to 'drive' a.k.a. 'guide' a rigid dynamically. This is the same as what a Dynamic Control and a blended Active Rigid uses, except as a separate transform. There can be multiple guides to a single rigid, where each can fight for control over the final position, or where you the animator can blend between them.

Option Description Default
No Options


Apply an external force to rigids. Kind of like constraints, except rigids are effected independently instead of relative another rigid.

Push Force

This forces applies a force facing away from a point in space. It can be used for things like explosions.

Option Description Default
No Options

Pull Force

This is technically the same as 'Push', except the opposite. Instead of pushing rigids away from a point in space, rigids are pull towards it. This can be used for effects like black holes, or to simply nudge a rigid in some specific direction.

Option Description Default
No Options

Directional Force

Gravity is computed deep within the solver and isn't technically applied as an external force, but apart form that this force replicates gravity in addition to letting you control the direction.

Option Description Default
No Options

Wind Force

Wind is a complex phenomena. This force applies an iterative, 3D Perlin noise field to rigid bodies and is a great representation of how wind looks and acts in the real world. Use 'Visualiser' to get a sense of how it looks.

Option Description Default
No Options


This creates a 2-dimensonal representation of either all or selected 3-dimensional forces. The slice can be moved and scaled just like any normal Maya transform, and the amount and length of samples can be manipulated (and even animated) interactively to get a fine-grained understanding of what your forces do to each rigid. Hint: Create multiple slices at various strategic locations in your scene to get an even greater understanding at specific areas.

Option Description Default
No Options

Assign To Selected

Forces are typically assigned to all existing rigids when created, or to the currently selected rigids. This command lets you add forces to rigids manually. Forces can be removed by breaking their connection to each other.

Option Description Default
No Options


High-level tools for animators and riggers that build upon the lower-level concepts above. Everything here can be created manually using a combination of the above commands or by making the connections yourself.


An auto-rigger, designed to produce an animatable character from a skeleton hierarchy.

Option Description Default
Copy Turn a copy of the selected hierarchy into a character, rather than the hierarchy itself. True
Control Create an additional control hierarchy from generated character. True
Normalise Shapes Make sure shapes are relatively evenly sized. This can help prevent 'stick-figures' which are tougher to control.
Stop Behaviour Whether to include the joint with a 'Stop' label in the generated character or not. Inclusive

Dynamic Control

Turn your regular character animation control into a rigid body, where the input animation is used as a dynamic guide for the simulation. The animation remains editable and the final result can be switched or blended between.



Turn any FK hierarchy into a dynamic chain.

Every other control

Every other control

Skip some FK controls, for a simplified dynamic hierarchy.

Global Preferences

Edit the scale of manipulators and visual elements of Ragdoll, especially constriants. If you work at a scale other than Maya's currently set units, this command is your friend.

Option Description Default
Gizmo Scale Scale at which to draw viewport widgets, like constraints. 1.0
Cache Media Cache clips in the timeline, for immediate feedback when scroll.
- Off Fast, interactive but no scrubbing.
- On Slow scrubbing support.
- All Interactive scrubbing at the expense of RAM.<
Auto Hide Shape Attributes (Requires scene reopen) Rid the Channel Box of attributes unrelated to the currently selected shape type. True
Auto Initial State (Requires scene reopen) Whether or not to use the pose of a rigid at the start time as the active initial state. This feature records the pose from frame 1 at frame 2, by inserting itself in between finished evaluation of frame 1 and yet-to-begin evaluation of frame 2. True
DG Viewport Fix Improve viewport robustness when simulating in DG Evaluation mode, by calling ogs -reset on the start frame. Bear in mind this action is global to Maya and may negatively (or positively) affect other nodes in your scene.
Validate Evaluation Mode Check whether Maya is evaluating in Parallel or Serial whenever creating a new scene, as DG is slow and error-prone. True
Validate Rotate Pivot Check whether the selected transform has a non-zero rotatePivot; they are unsupported and will be zeroed out. True
Validate Rotate Axis Let the user know of a Ragdoll limitation, that a custom rotate axis are unsupported. True
Validate Scale Let the user know of a Ragdoll limitation, that scale is unsupported.
Validate Playback Speed Make sure Maya's playback speed is set to 'Play every frame'. True


The Ragdoll user interfaces double as a place for help.

The information is generated from the same source as this website, so as to be available wherever you are; without breaking your flow.

Help Page


The page can also be accessed by clicking on the top description.


You can find hints about each option by hovering over it.



Available videos regarding any menu item is visible in the UI, to shed more light onto how things work.



Hovering over the currently playing video displays a description of what it is about.


Last update: 2021-01-18