Classic Man
Charater Model and Rig for Maya
This is a free character model and rig for a classical male figure to be used for character and animation studies. While there are many good, free toon rigs (Tiny, Alfred) out there, I created this rig to allow animators to experiment with the natural human figure. This rig could also be used for motion capture studies. Based on the sculptures of Michellangelo's, it includes both a low-poly base mesh and a rig for Maya. Originally developed for teaching in the Medialogy Department at Aalborg University in Copenhagen. Features and limitations are described below.
Polygonal models: Size  
- man_base.ply 190k Base Polygonal mesh in PLY format
- man_base.mb 400k Base Polygonal mesh in Maya MB format
- man_hires.mb 7.8 MB Fixed, high resolution polygonal mesh created from base mesh using subdivision surfaces.
- man_subdiv.mb 1.0 MB Base mesh with subdivision surface in modeling mode
Character Rigs:    
- man_rig.mb 1.4 MB Character Rig for Maya
Polygonal Modeling - Features
This character is based on visual studies of sculptures by Michellangelo, specifically David (c. 1501, Palazzo Vechio, Florence) and the Bound Slave and Dying Slave (c. 1510-1513). The figure is intentionally abstracted somewhat so that alternate details can be added as displacement maps.

Features of the polygonal model:
Low resolution base mesh (4400 tris, 2200 verticies)
High resolution subdivision mesh -
Modeled in proxy mode so that sub-division mesh best represents the modeled figure

Hand modeled with fingers extended -
Fingers flat in the XY plane, with straight extensions along the X-axis, making it easier to place finger joints for rigging.
Detailed head model

Character Rigging - Features
Character Rig developed in Maya.

Full rig -
Moveable from a single base controller (ground circle). Entire body, and all controls, follow base controller to allow for full body rotations which support localized walk cycles and spinning (e.g. springboard divers). Mesh does not distort improperly when base control is moved.
Waist rotation and positioning
Hip rotation -
Does not affect upper body.
Useful for walk cycles and pevis motions.
Upper chest -
Rotation of the upper chest, causing the head and neck to rotate as well. Good for arching poses, like side stretches.
Upper chest rotation -
Inner ring controls chest rotation without affecting head. Notice head remains upright relative to lower body.
Good for upper-body jestures.
Head rotation
IK Foot placement -
Foot controllers provides IK movement of the legs
Body centering (Crouching) -
Movement of body center (waist outer ring) does not cause feet to move through the ground. IK controls deal with locally shifting body weight even if overall rig is translated (using base control ring)
Body centering (Jumping) -
Movement of body center (waist outer ring) can be placed higher than figure length, causing legs to extend toward IK foot controls but without unnatural stretching (squash-stretch of legs not noticable in realistic human figures).
Ankle rotation -
Foot can be oriented independently of foot placement.
Toe peeling -
Toe ball joint controls toe peeling.
Good for walk cycles when back foot lifting causes toe to peel.
Pole Vector Knees -
Separate controlers (boxes) for knee orientation.
Hand and Wirst orientation -
Hand controllers for IK arms and independent wrist rotation.
Finger joints -
Individual joints for each finger.
(Note: In this image, vertex weights for fingers have not yet been finished).
This model and rig still has several limitations:
- Wrist orientation is not yet separated from elbow rotation, making some arm poses impossible.
- Finger controllers not yet available. At present, you need to rotate the actual joints in the chain. Vertex weights on fingers not yet complete.
- No facial rigging. I have not done much facial rigging. If you would like to add facial rigging, see below.
- No pose-space deformation. PSD has not been done for this character yet, so shoulder and knees will distort. See below if you'd like to contribute.
- No IK / FK switch. I have not yet implemented an IK/FK switch for the arms and legs. Right now its all IK.

If anyone is interested in contributing to this model, please feel free to make modifications and send them back.
I will include it in the downloads above with acknowledgements to you as the contributor. (Note that only high quality improvements will be posted here.)
This model and rig are provided for free to the animation community, and the work is licensed such that future improvement should also benefit others.

If there is sufficient interest I could model and rig a classical female figure as well. : )

Classic Man posed to Michellangelo's Laocoon. This was a brief, two hour pose session using the rig above.

Here is a sculpt attempt by Majid Smiley which is quite successful (not quite the original of course : ).

Notice the issue are quite different when this is treated as a rigging problem. Pose-space deformation is not yet implemented, hence the depressed shoulder and the right knee issues. Elbow rotations are locked to the wrist, which should be fixed. A Zbrush sculpt would help to give a displacement map to get some of the finer details in the original.