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What is Auto-Rig Pro?
Auto-Rig Pro is an addon for Blender 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 it expanded quickly thanks to great support from the community!
Want to try first? Download Mike, free character rig here.
Getting Started with Auto-Rig Pro:
Rig fast with the Smart feature
For humanoid characters, 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...).
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.
Modular - Fully Featured
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 limb 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 picker panel dynamically updates, so you can select any bone from the separate panel easily.
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. It's universal: works with Auto-Rig Pro, Rigify, custom rigs... 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.
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
- 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
- "Soft-Linking" for cheap stretchy bone effect, Fbx compliant
- Actions are baked to the simplified rig
- Animated shape keys (blend shapes) support
- Selective/multiple action export
- Root motion support
Note: Glb/Gltf export is not yet embedded with Auto-Rig Pro, but the Cascadeur to Game Engines addon supports it!
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:
Tell Me More!
Extensive list of what the addon has to offer:
- Automatic bone placement solver based on mesh recognition for bipeds characters. Asymmetrical models supported.
- 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 rig what you need. Fingers, toes, ears, breast, adjustable amount of spine, neck, twist bones, tail, and neck bones... Duplicate, 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 controller shape edition
- Bone picker: Can be turned on/off, import/export presets. Customizable.
- Colors customization
- Cartoon compliant: stretchy spine, legs, arms...
- IK-FK snap autokey compliant, snaps properly when unlocking all the leg/forearm rotation axis
- IK-FK controllers auto hide
- Hybrid IK pole / IK arrow vector
- 2 or 3 bones IK chains for legs
- 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
- Improved skinning based on Blender's heatmaps. Auto-splitting of multiple elements + voxelization. Compliant with the Voxel Heat Diffuse Skinning addon.
- Shape keys drivers creation tool
- Game engines support, FBX: Unity - Unreal Engine. Generic, Humanoid and Universal rig type
- Bone remapper to retarget any armature action to another one, with different bone names and bone orientations. IK support. BVH, FBX files compliant, e.g. Mixamo animations.
- 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: french 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 addon before installing the new one and restart blender.
- Rig: New Rig Layers menu, to quickly hide or show rig components: armature layers, bones, collection and objects. Useful to toggle some features of a character (clothes, props...) or show/hide a given set of controllers.
- Rig: Skull bones are now optional and disabled by default
- Rig: Interface of rig tools/settings has been improved with imbricated sub-panels for better clarity
- Rig: Extended maximum arms/legs twist bones amount to 32
- Rig: By default some secondary controllers were just hidden, leading to display them when revealing all bones (Alt-H), even when Secondary Controllers were set to None. This was a bit of a problem, the code has been refactored to hard-delete and create bones on the fly when clicking Match to Rig.
- Rig: Renamed internal property to avoid conflict. Required to click the Update button (as prompted automatically) with old armatures
- Skin: Binding performances significant speed up. Although the weight improvement functions were useful (smooth twist bones weights, refining hips weights...) they were bloated with lots of overhead. Binding is now from 3 to 5 times faster (!) after minimizing Python code overhead and optimizing functions with dedicated built-in operators.
- Skin: New "Improve Heel Weights" setting to improve automatic skinning in the ankle/heel area
- Skin: Warning message when binding meshes with more than 150.000 polygons, can be slow
- Export: Less than 3 spine bones are now supported as Humanoid type (3 was the minimum before)
- Export: Improved consistency with the actions export dialog, added messages relative to "Only Active" and warn if no actions are exported
- Remap: Static source bones (not animated) are now supported, they appear in the bones list
- Remap: When importing a preset, the browser now uses automatic filtering for .bmap format files
- Export: Overridden and proxy armatures export breakage with Blender 2.93
- Export: Spine bend bones could not be exported when more than 2
- Export: Avoid and fix vertex group names conflict
- Skin: Eyelids weights improvements were broken in some cases
- Rig: Mirror shape keys + mirror drivers (support corrective drivers, corrective bones)
- Rig: Set Auto-Stretch to 0.0 by default to new armatures
- Rig: IK-FK shapes are now scaled with linear interpolation drivers, to ease selection (before, bones were hidden). To apply to old armatures, click "Update Armature" in the Misc tab of Auto-Rig Pro
- Rig: IK pole position improved when snapping, now in-line with the knees/elbows
- Rig: New tweak twist setting for arm and thigh bones, to correct bad twisting with extreme arms/legs angles. To apply to old rigs, click "Update Armature"
- Rig: A log message now reports detailed changes when clicking "Update Armature"
- Skin: UI Cosmetic change, skinning features as separate engines
- Skin: Expose new setting: Smooth Twist Weights, Refine Head Weights (aka "Use Chin" previously), Improve Hips Weights
- Skin: The Voxel Heat Diffuse Skinning addon is now directly embedded as a binding engine (the addon must still be installed separately), supporting post-skinning improvement features of Auto-Rig Pro.
- Smart: Improved fingers detection with forearm rotated forward
- Smart: New options to set spine bones count, straight spine, spine troot orientation upward automatically
- Smart: Improved automatic knee position for IK pole constraints
- Export: New "Only Selected Bones" option to export only selected bones (Thanks to Jesper for contributing!)
- Export: New "Soft Linking" option to maintain animated bones scale to 1, allowing cheap stretch effect in game engines without actually scaling bones which lead to issues (Thanks to Jesper for contributing!)
- Export: New "Markers" setting for frame range, to export only frames between markers named "start" and "end" (Thanks to Jesper for contributing!)
- Remap: Incorrect fingers rotations with IK hands
- Remap: incorrect auto-detection side for right thigh
- Remap: Overrides compatibility was broken
- Smart: Fixed incompatibility with fingers detection in Blender 2.92
- Smart: Fingers detection issues when mesh rotation mode was set to "Axis Angle"
- Export: Error with unexpected custom properties
- Export: Bone transforms error when no animations were exported with UE options under certain circumstances
- Export: Fix offset in animation IK bones transforms
- Export: Clean temporary actions if necessary by clicking "Check Rig"
- Export: Soft-Link not applying to stretch bones, while using "Twist" secondary controllers
- Rig: Deleting the picker was broken
- Rig: Incorrect rotation of root bones as custom override shapes
- Rig: Set thigh twist StretchTo to Swing rotation mode for better results