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

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205 Responses to “Quick Rigging With the Rigify Addon”
  1. Posts: 7
    gdurnota says:

    For some reason, I cannot move any part of the body. I’ve generated the armature and followed the instructions, but something is not right. And after I have switched to pose mode and hid all layers, then adding that particular on back again, no bones of the body show part from the head, neck and spine. Can someone please help?

    • Posts: 1
      zeke_lexi says:

      Yes I had some problems with this, there were a few things that enabled me to get it working in a fashion.
      1. Make sure ‘Auto Run Python Scripts’ is ticked in the File -> User Preferences Menu.
      2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZPqxADetWE fix the weights. Lots of models have duplicates and errr stuff( I am not an expert), need to clean up the model a little to get it working.
      3. make sure your armature and model are in exactly the same location.
      I hope this helps and saves some people sometime :). Thanks for the awesome tutorial

  2. Posts: 25
    angusgiorgi says:

    Bone heat weighting failed to find solution for…. aaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhh!

    • Posts: 2038

      I’ve also been getting failed weighting solutions since using 2.71…I wonder if it’s a bug. Usually I jump back to 2.70 and the same mesh-to-rig auto weights fine.

      • Posts: 25
        angusgiorgi says:

        That’s really good to know Kent, thank you! I will try using a 2.70 version for auto weighting. I initially thought it was a Zbrush thing because it was happening on a model I ported in from Zbrush to Blender through GoB, but it’s recently also been happening on models either made only in Blender or fully re-topologised in Blender. I’ve done all the usual fixes i.e recalculating normals, removing doubles etc. Thanks for the heads up, if it’s happening to you as well, then I’m not going crazy!

    • Posts: 8
      corogrin says:

      Sweet! I love being able to figure out my own problems…was because of the order in he modifiers tab.

    • Posts: 2038

      Try moving your “Armature” modifier above your particle system modifier.

  3. Posts: 2
    kurtaa1 says:

    Hey I’m having an issue. After pressing the “Generate” button in the “Rigify Buttons” tab, the new rigs only have the deformation bones for the spine, the other ones are missing.
    please help! :)

  4. Posts: 2
    aninatsume says:

    where in the world do you download it i dont see it anywhere

  5. Posts: 2
    kurtaa1 says:

    Where do I turn if I found a bug in the rigify addon?

    • Posts: 632
      richard w says:

      The most common ‘bug’ people find when using Rigify for the first time is that they don’t have the auto-running of python scripts enabled. This was disabled by default as a security feature in an older Blender version (2.68? I keep forgetting which version exactly).

      You can enable the auto-running of python in File > User Preferences > File and checking the option there; see link below. You can add exception directories in order to maintain some security; python scripts in those directories will _not_ auto-run. You can then save this setting to be enabled by default or you can just re-enable it on a ‘per session’ basis.


      If that doesn’t fix the problem, then let me know.

  6. Posts: 1
    heliel22 says:

    I every time i try to get rigify to work by clicking Shift A then click Armature i get this “Report Error Traceback ( most recent call last) hell i don’t even know what that even means i have enabled the add on plus enable auto run also i have Blender 2.70 this driving me nuts seriously all i am trying to do is add this motion capture onto my Sims 4 character but i’m not even making it pass level 1 please help

  7. Posts: 1

    I have attempted several times to rig a model. I keep getting same error message…Bone Heat Weighting: failed to find solution to one or more bones. Auto-run Python Scripting is enabled and I cannot find the bone(s) that may be causing the error. I need some assistance please.

  8. Posts: 1
    corrigane says:

    Well good evening! thank you most heartedly for such an amazing and well laid out tutorial! I like many above this comment have an issue of my own… while I did my very best to follow the tutorial to the letter, after obtaining my rig from the generator and doing all the steps until 17:00 aprox, both the arms and legs (hands and feet included) disappear whenever I leave “rest position” … and strangely now while I am typing this message, the issue fixed itself… apparently loading an older stage of the same rig (I create multiplaye blend files out of the process for any slip ups) fixed it! I wont rely on this strange fix for any future problems, but still.. the more you know the better right?

  9. Posts: 15

    I’m trying to find a simple easy way to export ONLY the deformation bones of the rigify rig, so I can just have the animations I make and a simple skeleton. I don’t need to bring all the extra controls it has into a game engine. If anyone has come across a way of doing this, such as automatically un-checking the deform box on all controls and controller bones etc. please comment here and let us all know. Cheers

    • Posts: 2038

      You can quickly uncheck the “Deform” checkbox on all controls with few commands in Python. But all the controls should already have deformation unchecked – Rigify is well organized for this. Sounds to me like you need to delete all controls and leave the deformation bones for export, right?

      • Posts: 15

        Well the fbx export has an “only deform bones” checkbox (might be new). So I assumed that I could just export the rigidly rig with a number of animations and it would only export just the deformation bone part of the rig. However, when I bring the rig into unreal it has hundreds of bones. If I just delete the controls, then how will I go back to do more animations and re export?

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