Quick Rigging With the Rigify Addon

See How to Rig your Characters with Rigify

Rigify is an automated rigging tool written by Nathan Vegdahl that makes the character-rigging process fast and simple.

If you’re like me, you spend most of your time in Blender modeling and texturing characters for still renders.  However, sometimes I want to see my static character spring to life in animated motion.  So the anticipation and excitement builds enough for me to venture into the rigging realm, motivated by lofty dreams of character animation! Though hours later I end up raising a white flag in a confused and frustrated surrender to the often overwhelming task that is rigging.

For Blender users out there who experience similar rigging inabilites Rigify is the answer to your character animation needs.


What You Will Learn

1.  Enabling the addon.

2. Customizing the meta-rig to achieve the best performance from the generated rig.

3. Generating the rig.

4. Automatic skinning your character model to the rig.

5. What Rigify doesn’t do for you.


Music:  “The Universe and My So-Called Life” by Pitx

Leave Comment


171 Responses to “Quick Rigging With the Rigify Addon”
  1. Posts: 1
    aniket says:

    hi kent i really like your tut and iam following the same..i got some issue with my rig dont know what it is please help me out..i apply the bone setup to the body mesh using rigify ,but when i select all the rig and the body to weight it ,my mesh goes messy after doing auto weight..i can only see my head part..tried for two to 3 body meshes..iam using blender 2.7a

    • Posts: 1216

      It seems that auto-weighting is the biggest problem for people following this tutorial. Unfortunately it’s the least reliable feature that I cover.

      Feel free to submit a Help Desk ticket for me to take a look at your .blend file.

  2. Posts: 7

    I have been attempting to use the rigify mod since March. I have gone through your tutorial at least four times, and I have yet to get a usable rig once. I strongly suspect that there are some requirements on how a model is made that effect how the rig is created, but nobody is telling me what they are.

    If there are some requirements, I’d really appreciate it if you would mention them? At this point, i’m dead in the water. I’m tired of repeating the process and agonizing for hours over every little step. I have the parts where you are talking from 15:00 to 18:00 virtually memorized.

    • Posts: 1216

      Yikes, I’m sorry it’s not worked out for you so far. A successful Rigify result honestly has nothing to do with the model. The only relationship the model has to the rig is through vertex weighting. Unfortunately, some of my rigs auto-weight nicely and some absolutely do not. For auto-weighting I know that skinnier models work better than thicker/fat models. Beyond that it’s kinda “luck of the draw”. The way I see it, auto-weighting is a bonus and not a given. Painting weights by hand should be a seasoned skill for all riggers.

  3. Posts: 17
    jacobo says:

    Hi Kent;

    Got a question for you. What do I do if my character has a 4 finger hand instead of the default 5 that rigify gives initially?

    Thanx, great tut as always…


    • Posts: 1216

      Hi AJ,

      You can simply delete the 5th finger bone chain from the meta rig. Then when you click “generate” your rig will function the same way minus that 5th finger.

  4. Posts: 10

    Hello Kent!
    I’ve been following this tutorial, using 2.70, and everything seems to be going well until I generate the rig! All the info is present in the outliner but, when I skin it, I only get the spinal column and corresponding geometry! The rig and geometry (what’s left of it) work fine! I turned on the layer with the bones and, sure enough, only the spine is present! I wonder if possibly, there’s an issue with this version of Blender and the original version used to create the tutorial! I have a screen shot of my issue, if it would help!! Any ideas?

    • Posts: 1216

      Hi Forrest – I don’t think I can diagnose the problem from this. Please feel free to submit a Help Desk ticket and I’ll be able to take a closer look at your .blend file.

    • Posts: 17
      Clay says:

      Did you ever figure this out? I have the same problem. When I shift click the 3rd box of the right section of layers to show the bones, I see a spine and thats pretty much it.

      • Posts: 17
        Clay says:

        Nevermind, it was in fact the option Zarenkyra listed below. Solution: Go to User Preferences > File > Auto Run Python Scripts (check this box) then save user preferences and generate the rig again.

  5. Posts: 3
    zarenkyra says:

    When I generate the rig and go to view the deformation bones ( the green ones) I can only see the spinal bones generated.

  6. Posts: 3
    zarenkyra says:

    Edit: At generate it wont generate arms or legs, including hand, finger, and feet bones/joints.

  7. Posts: 3
    zarenkyra says:

    Solution: Go to User Preferences > File > Auto Run Python Scripts (check this box) then save user preferences and generate the rig again.

  8. Posts: 1
    j0hnbane says:

    I had the same problem as zarenkyra. Their fix got it worked out.

  9. Posts: 10

    Sorry to take so long to reply guys! I lost connection, for a while!!
    I did, in fact, visit user prefs and all is well!! Thanks so much for the info everyone!!!

  10. Posts: 1
    whitenoise says:

    awesome tutorial kent!

    would you know how to add motion capture animation to this rigify rig ?

    just the general approach… i wonder if i would need to go the usual way over motionbuilder,.. or if its easy and well enough to use the own blender retargeting..


    • Posts: 1216

      We’re exploring animation via motion capture data with Blender for an eventual training series. Stay tuned!

  11. Posts: 1
    ironmanqty says:

    Hello Kent Trammell !

    l’m ironmanqty from lithuania and l’m a 15 year old rising programer and l’m very new to blender and l wont to ask a question what version of blender you are using ? because well l’m trying to rigify my 3D human model with the human (meta rig) but when l checked in the animature section and l can’t find this human( meta rig) in blender l tryed many times to find it but still l can’t find it maiby it’s because l’m using Blender 2.71 l don’t known but please can you help Kent Trammell it is my long dream to be a succesful 3D animator and l realy don’t ruin this perfect chance to be a rising 3D animator so please can you help ?

    P.S Sorry for the bad english l’m still a learner

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.