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 settings 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 and Toes 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:

Joints Fans are helper bones in option, allowing correct volume preservation in tricky areas such as elbow, wrist, thigh, knee, even if "Preserve Volume" skinning (Dual Quaternions) is disabled.

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.
Manor Lords
Trail of Nanook
Escape Legacy: Ancient Scrolls

Films, TV Series:
Magic Campers
Team Dronix


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



  • Version: 4.1: Armature collections API updated
  • Version: 4.1: Since message box operators now include a "Cancel" button, use the direct popup message function instead, when "OK"/"Cancel" button are superfluous
  • Version: 4.1: Ported the whole ARP FBX exporter to the latest Blender's FBX exporter, since mesh normals are exported with new settings in 4.1. To maintain backward-compatibility, the old version of the ARP FBX exporter is run on older Blender versions
  • Version: 4.1: Added an "internal" collection, as parent of the mch_ internal collections and body color groups. Collections are sorted when Match to Rig.
  • Interface: New help buttons that link to the documentation in the rig, smart, remap, export menus. Can be disabled from the addon preferences.
  • Rig: Spline IK: New Twist target setting in option. Useful when rigging long necks with Spline IK limbs. A target bone must be defined to evaluate the twist rotation from.
  • Rig: Spline IK: New "Parent External Bone" setting, in order to define what bone an external limb must be parented to: the deforming tip bone, or the control tip bone. For example, if the neck ref bone is parented to the tip ref bone of the Spline IK limb, it is recommended to set it to "Tip Deform" for a correct behavior, so that the neck bone remains attached to the actual deforming spline bone.
  • Rig: Facial: New "Unlock Jaw Y Loc" setting, to allow jaw translation along the Y axis
  • Rig: The Import and Export features can now handle Limb Options. Useful when needing to backup rig data.
  • Rig: New mirror feature for the "Add Hand Fist" tool
  • Rig: New mirror feature for the "Add Blink Pose" tool
  • Rig Tools: Head Lock now supports Bake
  • Rig Tools: Arm Lock now supports Snap and Bake
  • Rig Tools: Thigh Lock now supports Snap and Bake
  • Rig Tools: Pole Parent now supports Bake
  • Rig Tools: Default frame start/end of bake operators are now set to the scene or preview range
  • Rig Tools: (Performance) The bake operators do not work with Auto-Key anymore. It is now turned off internally for performance reasons, such as the Motion Paths evaluation
  • Skin: The "Smooth Twist Weights" setting now supports multiple twist bones, was limited to 1 twist bone before
  • Remap: New Mocopi preset
  • Export: Renaming bones from file now supports Blender's internal text files too (thanks to Greisane for the patch)
  • Export: GLTF: Custom properties located on actions and pose bones are now exported
  • Export: FBX: Custom properties located on pose bones are now exported
  • Export: Preserve hierarchy when objects deformed by armature modifiers are parented to other deformed objects
  • Export: UI: Removed Auto-Rig Pro specific params from the UI when exporting a custom armature (twist export, c_traj export...)
  • Smart: The elbow position is now set more accurately, supporting non-straight arms
  • Smart: New settings to define the spine curvature: "Straight" for straight spine, "Model Fit" to fit the actual model shape, "Arched (UE)" to fit the UE5 Mannequin spine.
  • Smart: When setting the spine count higher than 3, the spine curvature is now maintained in "Model Fit" and "Arched" mode. Spine bones were always straight before.
  • Smart: New settings to define the clavicles alignment, to better fit the UE Mannequin.
  • Smart: UI: Collapsable menus (Blender 4.1+ only)


  • Rig Tools: API: The operator arp.convert_rot_mode() had wrong default values
  • Rig Tools: Motion Trails evaluation + Animated Rig Layers was failing to update. A picky condition has been added to update the collection visibility only when necessary
  • Rig: "Show IK Directions" was not drawing the line when selecting only the head or tail of a bone
  • Export: FBX: Error with the new "argument mesh_names_data" when using Blender 4.0
  • Export: Incorrect mannequin bones axes in some cases
  • Export: Error when exporting linked actions in Blende 4.1
  • Export: GLTF: Missing arm and leg bones when exporting as a humanoid with Twist Secondaries
  • Export: custom_collection type error in sort_armature_collections()
  • Export: Invalid mesh data export when Triangulate was enabled, due to mesh renaming issues
  • Export: Exclude objects from export, that are located in external view layers, since these are unaccessible data.
  • Export: Animated shape keys not exporting to GLTF with linked rigs
  • Export: Animated shape keys not exporting to GLTF with non-linked rigs. Fixing previous commit.
  • Remap: Incorrect retargetting if arms or legs bones were set with the "Lock-Free" option
  • Rig: Re-initialized bones color groups from armature presets, as a workaround for the invisible stick bones
  • Rig: Limb Export: Pose bone properties were not exported for all bones
  • Rig: Sorting alphabetically the internal collections under Blender 4.1+ was leading to error in case custom collections were added by users
  • Rig: "Apply Pose as Rest Pose" was missing support for Spline IK limbs
  • Rig: Bones collection displayed as "exclusive" (Blender 4.1+, star icon) was interfering when cliking Edit Reference Bones, or other buttons. Exclusive display is now disabled automatically
  • Rig: The Mirror Blink Pose function was missing the eyelid tweak controller
  • Smart: Visibility states of hidden objects was not restored properly after the detection

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Sales 44500+
Downloads 14100+
Customer Ratings 331
Average Rating
Published almost 8 years ago
Blender Version 4.1, 4.0, 3.6, 3.5, 3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0, 2.93
License Royalty Free
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