Auto-Rig Pro

by Artell in Addons

What is Auto-Rig Pro?

Auto-Rig Pro is an addon for Blender to rig characters, retarget animations, and provide Fbx/Gltf export, with presets for Unity, Unreal Engine, Godot.
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!

Tip: If you want to be notified when a new version is released, then consent to receive emails from creators.

Want to try first? Download Mike, free character rig here.

Rig features demo

Useful links:
Documentation - Learn here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Youtube Channel - Tutorials and demos
Twitter - Follow development
Joris' Rig Library for Auto-Rig Pro - 24 animated rig presets
Quick Rig - Turn a skeleton into Auto-Rig Pro control rig

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: 

Kilt limb to rig kilt, dresses, skirt-like clothes

Spline IK limb to rig ropes, tentacles, IK spine...

3 bones IK for quadrupedal creatures:

Fingers IK-FK:

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

Skeleton export to FBX/GLTF format.  Complies with Unity, Unreal Engine, Godot...

Export Types:
to export the skeleton of any creatures
Humanoid for bipeds only, with options for easy retargetting and root motion in game engines

  • 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

  • "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

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)

Rig Layers

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.
  • 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, GLTF: Unity - Unreal Engine - Godot. 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.


Users Cases:

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.



  • Code structure: refactored code to clearly state licensing, "src" folder containing GPL python files, Royalty Free and CC0 for other asset blend file
  • Rig: New leg FK lock setting, similar to arms FK lock
  • Rig: When binding, removal of existing vertex groups can now be disabled as a default preference. A warning message is displayed at the first bind
  • Rig: New "Remove Selected Driver" function to remove the corrective driver of the selected shape key, deletes the helper bone as well
  • Rig: When initializing the armature scale during Match to Rig, the animations can now be scale compensated automatically. A dialog box prompts the user to enable scale compensation or not
  • Rig: Cosmetic, brought back some colorful icons from Blender 2.79!
  • Rig: The ChildOf constraints keyframes now works with multiple selected bones
  • Rig: Master constraints for Tail limbs now works with "Before Original" mix mode to avoid rotation/gimbal issues
  • Rig: Additional jawbone setup to support head stretch. Old armatures can be updated with the "Update Armature" button to retrofit
  • Rig: The lips corner mini bone was not deforming by default, while c_lips_smile was. Switched both, since direct skinning for c_lips_corner_mini is preferred over shape keys
  • Rig: Add basic support for bendy-bones for the Tail limb (Limb Options)
  • Rig: Add lips offset controller, to move all lips bones at once (Limb Options)
  • Rig: New Kilt limb to rig dresses, kilts, skirts. Constrained collisions (no dynamic simulations)
  • Rig: New "All Keyframes" setting in Bake IK-FK functions, to bake all keyframes or only existing keyframes
  • Rig: New "All Keyframes" setting in Snap Child Of... function to bake only existing keyframes when disabled
  • Rig: Extended the Spine Count max value to 64
  • Picker: Show a warning if the picker addon is not installed (Misc tab)
  • Picker: The picker title is now renamed automatically when setting the character name with "Set Character Name"
  • Remap: New "Clean FK Rotation" when retargetting, to ensure single axis rotations on forearm and leg FK controllers
  • Remap: New MB Lab preset
  • Remap: New "Clean IK Poles" setting when retargetting. It used to be always enabled internally but could lead to issues. Now disabled by default.
  • Remap: Code refactoring to support non-latin bone names (japanese, chinese...). Require to click the "Update" button when prompted, when opening older files.
  • Remap: Support for bones with the setting "Inherit Rotation" disabled
  • Skin: When binding, used vertex groups are now also searched in geometry nodes attributes, to exclude them from removal
  • Skin: If binding fails because of scale issue, a popup message now proposes to rebind with Scale Fix enabled automatically
  • Skin: Added tongue and teeth as automatic facial skinned feature (was eyeballs only so far)
  • Skin: The toes deforming bone now exactly matches the length of the reference toes bone, for more accurate automatic skinning
  • Smart: Tongue and teeth objects can now be Smart detected for more accurate bone placement
  • Smart: Cosmetic, new markers icons, also fixing OpenGL error message on MacOS
  • Smart: The armature is now tagged in order to evaluate if "Match to Rig" has been performed before binding or exporting, to prevent user errors
  • Smart: Facial markers are now drawn as colored circles and colored lines
  • Export: Added triangulation for Fbx export
  • Export: Colorful icons from Blender 2.79 for export buttons
  • Export: Lengthy object names were not supported at export time, now throws an error message if names are exceeding 56 characters
  • Export: New "Sampling Rate" setting to bake animation subframes when the value is below 1.0
  • Export: Since Tangent Space normal export does not comply with N-gons, send an error message if N-gons are found and prevent Fbx export
  • Export: Since Soft IK is not Fbx export friendly because of the constant slight leg/arm stretch, added to "Check Rig" warnings
  • Export: Updated the Fbx export trunk with latest Blender official Fbx export (support new vertex color attributes for Blender 3.2 and greater)
  • Export: Added "Others" in the export engine interface, along Unity and Unreal Engine. Selecting it will hide settings specific to Unity and UE. Useful when exporting to Godot for example.
  • Export: Popup message to notify the export is complete (can be disabled in the User Preferences)
  • Export: Added "Metacarpal Fingers" setting in the Humanoid type, when exporting as "Others" skeleton
  • Interface: the "Mirror Shape Keys" button was moved to the Shape Keys dropdown menu, and renamed "Mirror All Shape Keys"
  • Interface: Aligned the checkboxes of actions list (export, rig, remap) on the left for clarity, and display the true prop checkbox for convenience, if Blender greater than 3.5
  • Check for update: Now shows a differential log, comparing the log of the new available version versus the current old version


  • Rig: Spine reference bones had incorrectly more than one bbone segment, leading to error when keyframing the whole character
  • Rig: Add Blink Pose was not resetting bones transform properly after adding the constraint
  • Rig Layers: Made "Edit Layer..." a movable panel instead of an embedded menu panel to avoid the glitch making it disappear when moving the mouse cursor
  • Rig: IK-FK snap invalid vector angle error
  • Rig: The Lite version menu was kept hidden
  • Rig: Removed the extra blank NLA track that was left in the armature presets data. Was interfering with NLA tracks in linked files
  • Rig: Since the head stretch support update, the jaw was not rotating anymore because of a missing bone when loading the mouth bones
  • Rig: Incorrect renaming of new Tail, Bendy-Bones and Spline IK limbs if an existing limb was set as a left or right one.
  • Rig: The Clean Scene operator could accidentally remove used custom shapes, not linked to any collections
  • Rig: The ChildOf Switcher didn't work anymore when baking animations, because of a missing update data call
  • Rig: The ChidOf Switcher did not bake correct transforms when the bone was animated
  • Rig: The previous fix regarding Tail, Bendy Bones, Spline IK bone side names was erroneous
  • Rig: "Apply Shape" did not assign the collection and parent object to the custom shape properly if the character or collection were named with "_"
  • Rig: "Add Hand Fist" had incorrect rotations when moving the c_pinky1_base
  • Picker: Missing eyelids
  • Remap: Fixed incorrect location values when retargetting multiple actions by resetting the target rig pose to zero
  • Remap: Unbind leading to error because of missing clean_ik_pole attribute
  • Remap: The "IK Axis Correc" setting was not imported/exported into bmap preset files
  • Remap: The "IK Axis Correc" setting was not supporting armatures with rotation different from 0
  • Skin: Error while using edge selection mode with "Set Eyelids Borders"
  • Skin: Make sure the current armature modifier has a target armature
  • Skin: Unbind button was not removing armature modifiers if the related setting was disabled in the pref (when binding)
  • Skin: Error when binding new facial features
  • Skin: Blender 3.6 crash when transferring vertex groups via modifiers. Use lower level functions instead.
  • Skin: 'ard' error when binding with the new teeth functions
  • Skin: Error "c_lips_smile"
  • Smart: Error crash when facial markers were invalid
  • Smart: Switched to marker images, to fix error on MacOS with Metal backend due to OpenGL functions not supported
  • Smart: Error handling when spine detection failed because of holes in the chest
  • Smart: Incorrect head top detection when characters had floating feet above the floor
  • Smart: Error when running "Facial Only" mode, missing toes marker
  • Export: Broken export when the scene was duplicated as a Full Copy and linked overrides
  • Export: Custom renaming and UE renaming were conflicting
  • Export: Error when exporting meshes with topology changing modifiers (Decimate) and shape keys
  • Export: Incorrect thigh parent when exporting as Universal with more than 1 twist bone
  • Export: Error when the Rig Name was set to none
  • Export: Error when exporting animations as multiple Fbx files but no exported actions were found
  • Export: NLA Tweak mode not properly supported when exporting only the active action
  • Export: Inconsistencies with twist bones export and soft-link
  • Export: Ensure to turn off "Push Additive" if Secondary Controllers are not set to "Additive"
  • Export: Error when exporting shape keys with topology changing modifiers that were not enabled in viewport but in render only
  • Export: Rename bones from file was not properly executed when setting the humanoid armature manually
  • Export: Incorrect armature transforms when the armature objects had constraints or drivers on transform channels
  • Export: Rig name with more than 56 characters were not supported, now throws an warning message to circumvent the error
  • Export: Error with the Actions Manager and invalid actions
  • Export: Interface, aligned the checkboxes of the action select panel on the left for clarity, and display the true prop checkbox for convenience, if Blender greater than 3.5
  • Export: Custom properties export for (custom bones only, and edit mode only) was broken
  • Export: Some debug lines were erreneously commented out in the release version
  • Export: Broken animation export due to invalid variable syntax (recent naming refactor)
  • Export: The Units settings were reset to default after export
  • Export: the c_lips_corner_mini was not exported, while it was set to Deform by default in latest update
  • Export: New kilt bones did not export when enabling "Mannequin Axes"
  • Export: Custom bones could be incorrectly parented because of incorrect names conditions
  • Export: Gltf export was always clipping animations to current scene range
  • Version: Compatibility issues with Blender 4.0
  • Version: Lite version critical error
  • Version: Smart maker display compatibility issue with Blender pre 3.4 versions

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Sales 37100+
Customer Ratings 282
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Published almost 8 years ago
Blender Version 2.79, 2.8, 2.81, 2.82, 2.83, 2.9, 2.91, 2.92, 2.93, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6
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