What is Auto-Rig Pro?
Auto-Rig Pro is an all-in-one solution to rig characters, retarget animations, and provide Fbx export, with presets for Unity and Unreal Engine. First developed as my own in-house rigging tool, i've released it a few years ago and many new features have been added since then.
Want to try first? Download Mike, free character rig here.
Getting Started with Auto-Rig Pro:
Rig fast with the Smart feature
If the character is humanoid, the Smart feature can automatically place the bones to speed up the process, after adding the green markers. The result remains editable.
Non-humanoid characters can also be rigged without the Smart feature, manually (horse, dog...).
The rig system itself is built for performances, allowing fast animation playback.
Important note about skinning: If possible, use water-tight geometry for best auto-skinning results. Knowing the bases of Blender's skinning tools, weight painting, to fine tweak the bones influences is recommended. Read the doc for more informations.
If you encounter any bugs please report it, be assured you'll receive support/bugfix quickly. Updates are free and will remain free! Also make sure to read the FAQ and the documentation to solve recurrent issues.
Modular - Fully Feature
Customize the rig definition in a few clicks: fingers, wings, toes, spine bones, multiple neck bones, tail, breasts, ears and much more. Duplicate or remove limbs to rig spiders, centaurs... or whatever!
Video tutorial, rig a centaur with the multi-limb feature: Centaur Rig
Wings for advanced feathers rig:
Spline IK limb to rig ropes, tentacles, IK spine...
Advanced Spline IK
3 bones IK for quadrupedal creatures:
Intuitive tool to edit the bone shapes, with automatic mirror.
Customizable UI: fully editable layout, buttons positions, colors, background pictures...
The Remap feature allows retargetting of any armature action to another one, with different bone names and bone orientations, supporting imported .bvh/.fbx armatures for example. Define the source armature, the target armature, and the animation will retarget according to the bones names matches and bones original orientation.
It support IK feet, hands for accurate motion tracking, and an interactive offset tool to remap to different characters proportions.
Additionally, to animate over a motion capture action on an additive layer, check the additive keyer addon (free)!
Game Engine Export
Auto-Rig Pro allows export to FBX format via a dedicated module, to proven engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine.
2 export types: Universal to export the skeleton of any creatures, and Humanoid for bipeds only, with options for easy retargetting and root motion.
- Support of multiple twist bones for optimal volume preservation in game engines, where dual quaternions skinning is not possible (top: single twist bone, below: 4 twist bones)
- Unit conversion to initialize the scale transforms values to 1.0 in Unity and Unreal Engine
- Unreal Mannequin compliant: support Mannequin bones hierarchy, bone axes conversion, bones naming, for UE4/UE5
- Automatic A-Pose
- Support full facial rig, and advanced bones. "Twist" mode for secondary controllers, wrapped on bendy-bones for smooth curves effects, leading to 1:1 export compatibility in Fbx format
- Actions are baked to the simplified rig
- Animated shape keys (blend shapes) support
- Selective/multiple action export
- Root motion support
Bring your poses to the next level!
The secondary controllers offer a unique control over the pose. Located all along the limbs, they're dedicated to fine pose sculpting, cartoon effects, bending, stretching, etc. Three deformations mode in option: Twist (exportable to Fbx and bendy-bones based for best compatibility), Additive (exportable to FBX), Bendy-Bones (Blender only).
Just use them instead of corrective shape keys, or as a complement. Below a typical leg bent before and after tweaking the secondary controllers.
Corrective shape keys can be created easily with a dedicated tool supporting IK-FK bone chains:
ChildOf Constraints Switcher
Easily switch and snap from one ChildOf constraint to another with the automatic ChildOf switcher (universal tool, compatible with any rig)
Store bones, armature layers, objects and collection in custom rig layers to easily manage the character features: hide or show clothes, hair, bones controller...
Built to Last
Blender is constantly improving and updating, and so is Auto-Rig Pro. But even though upgrades are nice, we don't want to miss the old rigs because of compatibility issues with newer versions. That's why backward-compatibility is always ensured at all costs, even if it involves a lot of maintenance on the code side. A legacy menu takes care of preserving features from the past. And if necessary, an "Update" button will upgrade the rigs automatically to the latest requirements, no loss!
Tell Me More!
Extensive list of what's in the box:
- Automatic bone placement solver based on mesh recognition for bipeds character
- Edit Reference Bones feature to modify the rig anytime you want. No need to redo everything if a bone is not where you want it to be.
- Apply Pose as Rest Pose feature to quickly change the rest pose of the character, aligning reference bones on it and applying armature modifiers in a single click
- Modular: only use what you need. Fingers, toes, ears, breast, adjustable amount of spine, twist bones, tail, and neck bones. Duplicate or remove limbs to rig creatures with multiple arms and legs.
- Fingers auto-rotation option: bend when scaling the first phalange, pre-defined fist pose
- Easy bone shape edition
- Bone picker: Can be turned on/off, import/export presets. Customizable.
- Colors customization
- Cartoon compliant: stretchy spine, legs, arms...
- A clear, easy to use and colorful bone picker
- IK-FK snap with autokey working, and snaps properly when unlocking all the leg/forearm rotation axis
- IK-FK controllers auto hide
- Hybrid IK pole / IK arrow vector
- Knees and elbows pinning
- Head rotation locked or free
- Bend all fingers in one click (fingers grasp), fist pre-defined pose, auto rotation of fingers phalanges from scale
- IK/FK eyes
- Auto-eyelid rotation
- Multiple Child-Of constraints support for the IK hands and feet to change their parent space any time (e.g. if the character is driving a car, hands on the wheel, then grab the car door)
- Complete set of secondary controllers for fine pose sculpt
- Advanced facial setup with automated placement
- Shape keys drivers creation tool
- Game engines support: Unity - Unreal Engine FBX Generic and Humanoid rig type
- Bone remapper to retarget any armature action to another one, with different bone names and bone orientations. Bvh/Fbx files compliant - Mixamo animations, with IK support
- Compliant with X-Muscle System for realistic muscles simulation
- By buying this addon you support my work and the Blender foundation, its developers financially. A part of each sale is donated to them. It's worth a big thank you from the open source community, helping Blender remaining free and accessible for everyone! And obviously you ensure the funds for this addon next new features, bugfix. I'm making my best to constantly improve the beast, based on users requests and my own ideas. Have quick look at the release log below. You receive a notification when the addon is updated, and download it for free.
Auto-Rig Pro is actively used in the film and video-game industry, a few examples:
Usurpator: Video-game (Unreal Engine)
Trail of Nanook: Video-game (Unity)
Team Dronix: TV serie
Gus: TV serie (in progress)
Julie Jamrock: TV serie (in progress)
Escape Legacy: Ancient Scrolls: Video-game
Mythfits: TV serie (in progress)
And many more!...
Make sure to uninstall the current add-on before installing the new one and restart blender
- Version: Upgraded the whole code base to Blender 4.0, with armature collections support. Make sure to click "Update Armature" when opening rigs from older versions
- Version: Because Blender 4 removed the extra frame added at the end of actions frame range, added a new Legacy setting to back up this additional frame
- Version: Blender 4 does not handle properly the double IK fingers constraints, leads to cyclic dependency (wobbly bones effect). Then, unfortunately the second IK at the tip of the fingers had to be removed. Click "Update Armature" when opening old rigs with IK fingers. Note, this second IK constraint could be restored later, will require more advanced bones mechanics to avoid the cyclic dependency.
- Export: Error when actions contained a single frame only
- Export: Scene Units set to None was crashing the export
- Export: Actions with no "id_root" attributes were not exported
- Export: Wrong mannequin bones axes orientation, because of hidden bones collections
- Remap: Fixed unreported bug with collection visibility
- Version: "Show IK Direction" line broken in Blender 4
- Version: "Update Armature" was not removing the second IK fingers constraint when the rig was already updated to Blender 4
- Version: Move constraints operator broken in Blender 4, use lower level functions instead
- Rig: Ensure bones custom shapes are assigned to the cs collection and parented to cs_grp
- Rig Layers: Error (in console) when updating layers visibility while nothing is selected
- Smart: Error when removing an optional facial object from the detection
You get a .zip file containing the necessary addons and blend files. The documentation link is below..