Auto-Rig Pro

by Artell in Scripts and Addons

There are two versions available for download: 

  • 3.40 for Blender 2.79
  • 3.44 for Blender 2.8

What is Auto-Rig Pro?

Auto-Rig Pro is an all-in-one solution to rig characters, retarget animations, and provide Fbx export for Unity and Unreal Engine. First developed as my own in-house rigging tool, i've released it a few years ago and many new features have been added since then. 

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

Rig features demo

Getting Started with Auto-Rig Pro:

Youtube Channel - Documentation - Frequently Asked Questions

Rig fast with the Smart feature

If the character is humanoid, 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.

The rig system itself is 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, be assured you'll receive support/bugfix quickly. Updates are free and will remain free! Also make sure to read the FAQ and the documentation to solve recurrent issues.


Customize the rig definition in a few clicks: fingers, toes amount, 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

The picker panel dynamically updates, so you can select any bone from the separate panel easily.

Intuitive tool to edit the bone shapes, with automatic mirror: 

Customizable UI: fully editable layout, buttons positions, colors, background pictures...


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

Additionally, to animate over a motion capture action on an additive layer, check the additive keyer addon (free)! 

Game Engine Export

Auto-Rig Pro allows export to FBX format (GLTF is being worked on as well) via a dedicated module, to proven engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine.

3 export types: Universal to export a simplified bones hierarchy for any creature, Humanoid for bipeds only, with options for easy retargetting and root motion, and Generic to export the deforming bones and the non-deforming ones if they are parent of the deforming bones.

  • 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

  • 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.

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
  • 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.




Make sure to uninstall the current addon before installing the new one and restart blender.




  • New Wings bones, allowing advanced feathers rigs.


  • Support of wing bones
  • New "Check Rig" feature to check for possible errors, especially issues related to scale/stretch, leading to rotations error in the exported Fbx.
  • New "Fix Rig" feature to fix the errors when possible (set legs and arms stretches to 0, disable Preserve Volume...)
  • Bones are now sorted alphabetically in the Fbx file


  • The pupils and iris picker bones were missing when generating a new picker
  • Missing arguments with the new facial function when using the Smart feature


  • Some jaw weights were not exported correctly due to incorrect group names

  • Various small fixes




  • New "Twist" mode for secondary controllers. It adds controller bones for every twist bones, and wrap them onto bendy bones for smooth control. Best for Fbx export, for 1:1 export of the secondary bones and weights (up to now weights were slightly modified when exporting in Additive mode).
  • New "Voxelize" method to improve skinning of meshes made of multiple separate parts. Less accurate with small parts (fingers, facial...).

    Note: this is not a true voxel skinning implementation, but an approximated method. It's not as foolproof as the Voxel Heat Diffuse Skinning addon, neither as fast (around 30 seconds to bind for a standard character at 8 resolution), but still produces better results than the base skinning method most of the time. It's useful to use it in combination with "Exclude Selected Verts" to mix voxels/default skinning results (e.g. to use different skinning methods for fingers and facial).

  • New "Exclude Selected Verts" option to exclude the selected vertices from skinning. Useful when using the Voxelize option to preserve fingers or facial skinning, or after adding new bones to the rig to prevent some skinned areas to be skinned again.

  • New "Preserve Volume" option to enable or disable this option in the armature modifier when binding (dual quaternions skinning). Should be disabled when exporting to game engines.

  • Automatic A-Pose to pose a rig character as the UE Mannequin. Useful when exporting to Unreal Engine (must be used with "Apply Pose as Rest Pose")

  • By default, secondary controllers are now set to None.

  • To avoid name clashing/collision when linking as a proxy, the rig collection has been renamed "charactername_grp_rig"


  • Twist mode support for secondary controllers, in Universal and Humanoid mode


  • Sort the list alphabetically


  • Better detection of thick fingers / straight thumbs


  • Enlarged the "Match to Rig" and "Bind/Unbind" buttons
  • The color of left controllers has been brightened to be more visible on the default dark background of Blender 2.8


  • The picker bone could accidentally deform meshes
  • If the secondary controllers are set to None or Twist, all additive bones deformation are now disabled when binding.
  • Workaround an internal bug preventing drivers to be deleted
  • Improved "Fix Fbx Bones Rotation" function, could be still buggy in some cases.
  • Old bug leading to Global Undo being disabled in some cases
  • Issue with meshes + hair particles  when binding
  • In Twist based secondary controllers, the thigh_twist bone was still deforming
  • When exporting as Humanoid + Full Facial + Advanced bones, some facial bones were skipped
  • Remap: "Set As Root" property was not imported from file



Rig: Multiple twist bones generation for the arms and legs. The next step is to implement a third mode for secondary controllers: "Twist", to use twist bones as secondary controllers, for 1:1 export compatibility.

Export: Support of multiple twist bones in Universal and Humanoid modes, for better compatibility with game engines without dual quaternion skinning.

Export: "Transfer Twist" has been renamed "Export Twist", behaving in the opposite way: if enabled, twist bones are exported. This is more straightforward and easier to understand.

Export: Normals can now be exported in tangent space

Export: More tabs to avoid scrolling


Export: Breast weights were not exported when Advanced was disabled and Mannequin Axes enabled

Export: Fix Bones Rotation that could lead to invert the bone roll

Smart: Force Solid view mode when entering Setup Facial, to make sure facial markers are visible


All features have been ported to Blender 2.8 API.

Blender 2.8 is a big update, full list of changes here.


First Auto-Rig Pro release!