We present a rigid-motion-inspired method for animating liquid characters in this paper. Our method allows an animator to control the motion of liquid characters with motion capture data that is widely used in rigid body animation. It animates the most visual interesting part of liquid character, that is, to preserve character's shape as well as produce enough liquid details. To this end, we build a two-layer model to represent the character by two coaxial layers: the rigid kernel and the liquid shell. Different control paradigms are used for the two layers instead of applying homogeneous force that is common in previous approaches. By embedding the control algorithm to the Navier–Stokes equations, we compute the fluid velocity that drives the motion of the liquid character. Results show that the method is easy and intuitive to use while incurring little additional cost.Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.