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This Help doc is for Long Winter Memberships.

Install Steps:

Step 2. Open LONGWINTER_INSTALL (no need to login just yet)
Step 3. Open the Character Manger via the Long Winter menu
Step 4. Click Install Characters

Installing the characters will take a few minutes.
You’ll be pulling .5 gig from our server to your computer

Activating Characters Steps:
Make sure you have your email address, order number, and license Key handy.

Step 1. Open a character via the Character Manager
Step 2. Enter your info in the UI

By default, your credentials will be saved. The license will check the last time
you logged in. If you havn’t logged in today, you’ll need to re-enter your license key.

Finding your info:
You can find your license key in the My Account page.
EX: 7853-9742-0909-4523

Solutions to common problems:
Files won’t install properly
Manual installation may be the best option.
Refer to your INSTALL_DOC that came with your file.


File is grey, I can’t select anything and I didn’t see a license popup.
You can activate your scene by going to the Long Winter menu > Activate Scene. Just enter your credentials and you’ll be ready to go!



How do I cancel my subscription?
Sign in, go to My Account > subscriptions. You will see a cancel button there.

How do I install the tools?
If you’re having trouble with the automatic installer, a manual install may be required. You can install Long Winter tools the same way you install any scripts in maya. If you are not familiar with the process, follow the instructions below.

Step 1: Find your scripts folder.
On a PC: Documents/maya/version/scripts
On a Mac: ~/Library/Preferences/Alias/maya/version/scripts
(tip: on a mac, the library folder may be hidden. Hit Command+Shift+G from the Mac desktop (or Finder > Go > Go to Folder) and type in ~/Library to temporarily access the Library directory in the Finder. When you are done, close this window and it will no longer be visible.)

Now that you have your scripts folder, simply copy the files from the downloaded scripts folder into the scripts folder on your computer.

You’ll need to do the same thing for the icons folder. This can be found on your computer as well.
On a PC: Documents/maya/version/prefs/icons
On a Mac: ~/Library/Preferences/Alias/maya/version/prefs/icons

I am getting a “Security Protocol” error in maya, what do I do?
This error is caused by an update to SSL certificates across the web and won’t be a problem in maya versions after 2017.
For now, the fix is to download and install the updated tools. This will likely have to be done manually since the tools can’t reach the server. Below you’ll find a link to the updated tools you need: Updated Tools

You’ll only need to install the scripts. You can do this by copying the files from the downloaded scripts folder into your own scripts folder. If you need more detailed help with that process, see the above topic.

My tools are not installing correctly, what do I do?
If you’re not getting an error in the script editor, it’s likely fixed by going to File > Open > options. From here, check the “Run Script Nodes” box and open the installer.

If you are getting an error, it could be due to maya being blocked by your firewall. Check your firewall settings and see if that fixes the issue.

I installed the tools but, every time I close maya, the menu goes away. Do I need to use the install tools file every time I open maya?
Nope, maya is just having a hard time creating the userSetup.mel file.

You can download the file here: userSetup.mel
To install this file, simply place it in your scripts folder. If you need help with this, see the above topic in installing files.

The site is not recognizing my email, what do I do?
It’s likely that you’re trying to log into instead of
If LongWinterMembers doesn’t recognize your email, try the email recovery system found on the login page.
If that still doesn’t help, we can look it up for you. 🙂

I just signed up for the Free character but, I didn’t get a license. How do I get a license?
You can get a license by purchasing a subscription. Without a subscription, you don’t get a license. But, you also don’t need a license to use the Free character “BIG”.

How many months do I need to sign up for?
Just one. We don’t require you to sign up for any more than one month to use our characters.

If I cancel my subscription, what happens to my animation?
Nothing. All the files stay the same. Without a valid license, you can still open all your files, but you can’t unlock the rigs. If you cancel for a few months and then come back and renew, you be able to unlock everything once again!

If I already have a login, do I have to make a new one?
No! You can purchase a subscription using your existing account username and password.

Can I sign up if I am not already a member?
Yes! We’re always excited to make new friends.

Do I have to install anything for the characters to work?
Nope! We take care of everything for you. After you sign up, you’ll download a file. Just open that using Maya and everything will be installed for you!

How do I access the characters once I sign up?
You can access everything from right inside of Maya! After opening our Maya install file, you’ll have access to our character manager. This tool will allow you to download the whole collection with one button. That’s right. One button. Whenever you open a character, you’ll enter your login information and bam! Start animating!

Will there be discounts for people who sign up for multiple months?
Not at the start. We want to keep things simple. No complicated multi-level memberships. Everyone joins at $10/month and everyone gets access to every character. Every. Single. One.

How does a school sign up?
Just shoot us an email! We’ll give you all the info. Email – info[at]longwinterstudios[dot]com

Are there group discounts?
YES! For groups, we start with a discount of 50% per user. The more users you have, the higher the discount. It just gets better and better!

If I’ve already purchased characters, do I need a subscription to use my old files?
Nope! We’re dedicated to our promise that you have those files forever. We’ll continue to service those characters for the near future. When you want to access our other characters, just sign up for our new service and you’ll get full access to those (as well as your previous characters – those stay in your account forever.)

Will you still offer single character, full-license purchases?
We’re going to discontinue the single purchases at this time. We may decide to open that up again at a later date but we want to focus fully on this and see if this ends up being a better solution for our users. If you have thoughts on that, feel free to shoot us an email!

If you have other questions about the new service or how it affects your past purchases or groups, feel free to send us a comment via email. We’ll get back to you right away. We’re always happy to hear from you guys and we want to make this as easy as possible for you.



(Applies to purchases before 2017)

General Character Questions

Can I use LWS assets for commercial work?
Yes and no. All assets are available for commercial use but may require a more robust license than is sold in our store. The items purchased in our store are single-seat, limited-license items. For most commercial/studio projects, you will need to have a commercial licence (more info here). Contact us to find out if your project requires a commercial licence and to setup a custom package.

Do I get updates with my purchase?
Yes, you do! When you purchase, you will be asked to fill out your account information. When you return to the site you can click the “My Accounts” page in the top left corner of the website. This will take you to all your past purchases. There you will find links to all the latest assets.

Can I use the character for my demo reel?
You bet! That is what they are there for. Just make sure to credit the characters to Long Winter Studios and send a copy to because we want to see it! We may even feature it on our Facebook page.

Can I use the character for my short film?
Heck yeah! Just make sure to credit Long Winter Studios and send a copy to because we want to see it!

Can I use the character while I’m at school?
Definitely! Just make sure to take the file with you when you leave.

Can I use the character on multiple computers?
What good would they be if you couldn’t!? Of course, have a blast. That is one of the many perks Long Winter Studios offers.

As an instructor, can I use your characters for my class?
If you would like to use LWS characters in a class, send an email to and we can get you set up with a membership. Memberships come with full access to characters for anyone in the facility. That is students, staff, adjuncts, the janitorial staff. Everyone. More information on our membership page.

What are the terms of use for these products?
The terms of use are fairly open. Long Winter Studios owns the copyrights to all products but allows for use in educational as well as commercial settings. However, you do not have the right to use any of these products partially or for anything other than their intended purpose (i.e. rigged characters are to be animated). All rigs are for individual use. Sharing our assets in any way is NOT legal under the single seat license LWS assets come with. If you would like to reproduce any product in any way, you must contact Long Winter Studios at For more, please read our full terms and conditions.

What if my file does not work?
​​​We ask that you carefully read the file information. If you have problems after purchasing a file please send a detailed request along with your purchased product to Note that all characters are for Maya 2013 and above. For those of you on the bleeding edge, you may run into some errors using Maya 2015.

How do I find out about your new character rigs?
Head over and “like” our Facebook page! We post often. Also, sign up for our newsletter! It’s sent out when we have a new rig or big news to share, and it only has the most interesting info in it. We love to keep you posted on our latest releases.

Members (Multi-Seat Subscriptions) Questions

What kind of access do we have to character updates after purchasing?
You have full access at any time. Like our single-seat people, you will have an account specific to your company. Anytime you want to check for updates, just come to the site, sign in on the My Account page and you will see all your downloads available to you.

What extra fees are there on top of the subscription price?
None. The only price you pay is for the initial subscription. We do not add any additional fees of any kind. We’re good people.

Can my students log on and download characters?
No. Your username and password are for staff and faculty only. It is your responsibility to keep that information private and limited to the people distributing the characters in the facility.

Who is covered under the membership?
If you have purchased a multi-seat membership from LWS, everyone affiliated with your company is covered. And we mean everyone. All students, all staff, all faculty. There is no seat limit and no one will be restricted from using the assets.

Can students use the characters after they graduate?
Only if they themselves purchase those characters with single-seat licenses post graduation. They are not allowed to continue use of the characters outside of the institution. However, with our memberships we do provide a unique discount code. The code is unique to each company and will give anyone affiliated with the company a 20% discount. This code may also be used by alumni, past or present.

Can our students and staff sign up for their own accounts in order to post work on the forum, collaborate on projects and so forth?
Absolutely. That is why we made it. Please encourage your students and staff to join the community.

Can we cancel our subscription at any time?
Yes, you can. Although subscriptions are non-refundable, you may cancel the recurring payments at any time you like. For our records, an automatic payment is very easy but, if you would rather pay manually on a regular basis based on your order, that is fine by us.

Can we add characters to our subscription?
Sure! Just let us know and we can set that up for you.

Do we have to sign up for a year?
Nope. Normally we break it into years, semesters and quarters depending on what you would like. But we can do pretty much any time frame you want.

Do you offer discounts for longer-term commitments?
Yes, we do. If you would like to sign up for 2-5 years of service, we will happily swing you a great deal.

Website Questions

How to I download my characters again?
Click on My Account, then login. You will see your downloads in red. Click them and they will download automatically.

How do I find my profile?
Currently, you have to go to Members, find yourself and click it. You can also bookmark that page for easy access. We are working on a simpler solution at this time.


If you have questions that are not found on this page, feel free to email us at We’d love to hear from you.