Version 1.1 | PDF


McKap User Manual

1. Loading Plug-in

2. Setting up Pre Rig

3. Creating the Rig

4. Coloring Controls

5. Accesing Skin Joints

6. Features and finishing up

7. Connecting Mocap

8. Editing Mocap

9. McKap Starter Pack


If you are using Maya 2022, make sure you have PyMEL installed.

PyMEL is an open-source Python library that helps with the development of Maya extensions by providing a simplified syntax for common operations.

PyMEL for Python 2 is packaged with Maya and PyMEL for Python 3 can be installed as an optional component with Maya.

Instructions for installing PyMEL can be found on this page (

1. Loading Plug-in

  • Go to the Plug-in Manager and locate “”.

  • Check the Loaded and Auto load boxes.

  • The Mckap shelf will appear with the McKap button on it.

  • Click the button to launch McKap.
  • On first launch, choose the licence option.

  • Your McKap plugin is now ready.

2. Setting up Pre Rig

  • Open or import your character.
  • To get started open McKap, and click the New button on the Pre Rig tab.

  • Allign the shapes with the joints of your character.
  • Start with the square shapes to move entire sections.
  • Use circular shapes to mark exact joint locations.


  • Note the arrows pointing away from preferred bend direction.

  • Use the Mirror buttons for symmetry.

  • You can save the Pre Rig setup for your character using the Save button.

3. Creating the Rig

  • If you previously saved the Pre Rig setup for your character, you can load it using the Load button.


  • Go to the Rig tab of the McKap window.
  • Write the number of elbow twist joints you wish to have on the rig.
  • Click the Rig button to create the McKap rig for your character.

  • Your McKap rig is now created.

4. Coloring Controls

  • You can use the McKap interface to assign colors to the controls.

  • You can also do this manually.

5. Accesing Skin Joints

  • Joints intended for skin binding can be easily accessed with the SkinJoints layer.

6. Features and finishing up

  • McKap features both IK and FK arms, legs and spine controls.

  • Knee and elbow controls can remain independent or follow the feet/hand controls.

  • You can take the time to adjust control shapes to fit your character.

  • Don’t forget to save your file.

7. Connecting Mocap

  • Reference your character rig created with McKap.
  • Import the motion capture file you wish to work with.
  • McKap has a skeleton that drives the character rig. The motion capture animation needs to be connected to the McKap driver skeleton.


  • For best results, scale the motion capture skeleton so that the leg length matches you character, and align the pelvis to your character.
  • Make sure the poses of the two skeletons match at the start frame.
  • Adjust either skeleton to achieve this if necessary.


  • You need to tell McKap what rig you are working on.
  • Open McKap window and go to the Connect Mocap Data tab.
  • Select the main control of the rig you wish to work on.
  • In the drop-down menu Select Rig, click on the icon on the right.


  • Select a joint on your motion capture skeleton, and click on the corresponding box on the McKap window.

  • The box will turn green, indicating the selected joint is loaded.

  • Tip: you can use the arrows on the keyboard to move quickly through the joint hierarchy.
  • If possible, use the Mirror, Search and Replace feature to automatically load joints to the opposite side.

  • Make sure all the joints are loaded in corresponding boxes.
  • For the most common motion captures, you can also use one of the presets.

  • Click the Connect button to connect your motion capture skeleton, to the McKap driver skeleton.

8. Editing Mocap

  • To set the weight of an individual control blending with the motion capture, use the Mocap attribute.

  • The value 1 means follow the motion capture completely.

  • The value 0 means do not follow the motion capture at all.

  • Animate the Mocap attribute to easily blend between motion capture and custom animation.

9. McKap Starter Pack

  • McKap Starter Pack contains more than 50 motion capture recordings and 16 rigged characters.
  • Locate the McKap Starter Pack folder:


  • Note that ProgramData folder is hidden. In Maya’s File > Open dialog, right click over the main explorer window, enable Show hidden files checkbox.
  • Open the Animation Template scene (Female_ANIM_Template or Male_ANIM_Template).
  • You can simply File > Import… any mocap animation from the Starter Pack. Mocap is already connected to the rig.
  • Use Reference Editor to simply replace the rig.
  • Make sure that you re-open your Animation Template scene for each mocap. Importing several mocap files consecutively in one scene can cause errors.
  • McKap Starter Pack

    McKap Starter Pack contains more than 50 motion capture recordings that you can quickly load to 16 rigged characters. Find out more...

    Read More
  • Animation Template workflow

    Animation Template workflow allows you to quickly load motion capture files (that are using the same skeleton) to your rig without having to connect/retarget each time. Find out more...

    Read More