The Rig


Placement Control


The placement_ctrl used for scene placement.

This is the main control for scene placement meant to be used to move the puppet into the desired worldspace location.

COG Controls


From left to right are the COG_upper_ctrl, COG_main and COG_lower_ctrl.

This set of controls are for “high-level” motion of the spine. Moving/rotating these controls moves the entire torso/spine of the Cheetah while keeping the curvature of the spine unchanged.


Parent relationship between the controls. From COG_main to the Spine Controls (upperTorso_ctrl and hips_ctrl).

Spine Controls

To control the spine.

From left to right are the upperTorso_ctrl, midTorso_ctrl_front, midTorso_ctrl, midTorso_ctrl_back and hips_ctrl.

The spine controls are a child of the COG controls, and allow more fine-grained control of the vertebrae of the spine. The three controls in the middle are constrained to stay equally distributed between the shoulder and hip.

Head/Neck Controls

To control the head and neck.

Selected here are the head_ctrl and the neck_1_ctrl. On the neck transform is the .spaceSwitch attribute that switches the space of the orientation of control.

The neck and head are simple FK. The neck is attached to the upperTorso. There is a switch on the neck that determines if the orientation is worldSpace or inherited from the shoulders (1 = worldSpace).

Tail Controls

To control the tail.

Displayed here from left to right are tail_1_ctrl to tail_6_ctrl. On tail_1_ctrl there is the .spaceSwitch attribute that switches the space of the orientation of tail.

The tail controls drive the tail’s shape via a spline. The tail is attached to the hip. There is a switch on the base of the tail that switches the orientation of the tail to worldSpace or inherited from the hip (1 is worldSpace).

Leg Controls

To control the legs.

The front and rear leg controls. The front includes controls for shoulder and scapula aiming.

The leg controls are IK controls. They are a typical “reverse foot” setup with a ballLift and a ballTwist on the main foot control for each foot.

The attributes in question.

The ball control attributes.

Toe Controls

To control the toes.

Simnple IK controls for the toes.

The toe controls are simple IK controls for each toe.


To control the legs.

Joint hierarchy being drawn in Maya by Ziva Puppets.

The joint hierarchy of the puppet can be drawn to the viewport for visualization purposes. This is done with a single custom “skeleton” shape transform. It’s hidden by default to improve rendering performance.

Original Mesh

Original cheetah mesh

Hi-res cheetah mesh, visualized as a Maya mesh.

For reference purposes, we have included the original unskinned Cheetah mesh used by the Ziva Puppet as an unskinned Maya mesh. The Maya mesh makes it easier to inspect the mesh, for example to see how many vertices it has. It’s hidden by default to improve rendering performance of the scene.