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.
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…).
Based on a non-destructive workflow, the final rig remains easily editable anytime after its generation. Check the product documentation and the youtube channel for more informations.
Built for performances, allowing fast animation playback.
Character examples: Mike (free), Anna, Kevin, Nina and Alex
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. Updates are free and will remain free. Also make sure to read the FAQ and the documentation to solve common issues.
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.
Video: Remapper demo
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
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:
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 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.
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
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.
Updates, maintenance of Auto-Rig Pro and support is granted for at least 3 years (from now on).
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
Julie Jamrock: TV serie (in progress)
Escape Legacy: Ancient Scrolls: Video-game
Mythfits: TV serie (trailer)
And many more!…
Make sure to uninstall the current addon before installing the new one and restart blender.
Rig: Lips upgrade to support a wide range of mouth design,
Multiple lips bones, master bones, curviness control, limit soft lips
Lips roll constraints
Added a “Jaw Speed Fac” setting to adjust the jaw rotation speed when moving the controller
Rig: Spine upgrade, added an optional spine Master Controller, to rotate or translate all spine bones at once, including stretch and squash
Rig: Support free IK bones roll (arms, legs). New “Auto IK Roll” setting added in “Limb Options”, to enable free roll when the setting is switched off.
Seamless IK-FK switch in free mode is still supported thanks to a more advanced IK-FK snapper
Rig: Added “Soft IK” for arms (so far was only for legs)
Rig: New “Remove Custom Limbs…” menu to selectively delete any custom limbs added previously
Rig: Set Pose: Added a new “Exact Rotation” setting, to use exact rotation matrix from the UE Mannequin A pose, otherwise use the shortest rotation, preserving as much as possible the bone roll (Y axis)
Skin: Exclude vertex groups used by other modifiers and hair systems from removal when binding/unbinding
Skin: Support binding with linked armatures
Remap: Added a “Clear Current Bones List” setting when importing presets,
so that existing source bones in the list that are not part of the preset can be preserved if this setting is disabled
Remap: Filter to display the .bmap files only in the browser window when exporting presets
Remap: Ensure the bones list index is preserved after retargetting
Remap: Show a warning if bone names are too long (more than 50 characters), since this is not supported when retargetting
Smart: A connection line is now drawn between markers
Export: Now supports GLTF/GLB format, thanks to the latest features of the Blender GLTF exporter added by Julien Duroure
Export: Apply any modifiers over shape keys is now supported, including Subsurf in option
Export: Now the twist bones position match accurately the UE humanoid skeleton.
This avoids the need to set to “Skeleton” retargetting translation type for these bones
Export: Support multiple lips
Export: Added a “Legacy” menu
Export: New “Bake Axis Conversion” setting for Unity, overriding Units x100 and armatures/meshes rotation initialization
Export: The rest pose data can now be exported when no meshes are exported. However the extra “dummy” mesh is still necessary when importing in UE (UE limitation).
Export: The exported file path is now saved in file, restored for the next session
Export: Added “A-Pose (UE5)” in the “Set Pose” menu to comply with UE5 Manny skeleton
Picker: support multiple spine bones
UI: Filter .py files format when importing/exporting rig data
UI: Facial options redesigned