Auto-Rig Pro

by Artell in Scripts and 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!

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

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: 

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

Advanced Spline IK

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

Auto-Rig Pro allows export to FBX/GLTF format via a dedicated module, to proven engines such as Unity,Unreal Engine, Godot.

2 export types: Universal to export the skeleton of any creatures, and Humanoid for bipeds only, with options for easy retargetting and root motion.

  • 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.

Updates-Support period:

Updates, maintenance of Auto-Rig Pro and support is granted for at least 3 years (from now on).


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 files
  • 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!
  • Picker: Show a warning if the picker addon is not installed (Misc tab)
  • 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
  • Smart: Cosmetic, new markers icons, also fixing OpenGL error message on MacOS
  • Interface: the "Mirror Shape Keys" button was moved to the Shape Keys dropdown menu, and renamed "Mirror All Shape Keys"
  • 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
  • Picker: Missing eyelids
  • Skin: Error while using edge selection mode with "Set Eyelids Borders"
  • Skin: Make sure the current armature modifier has a target armature
  • 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
  • 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



  • Rig: Multiple eyelids support, allowing to rig a wide range of eyelids design
  • Rig: New eyelid tweak controller, to adjust the upper/lower eyelids curvature
  • Rig: New "Add Blink Pose" to setup a pose with closed eyelids, adding constraints for the current pose. In-between poses can be added on the fly for half-closed eyelids
  • Rig: "Add Hand Fist" was redesigned, it's no more necessary to create the action and set keyframes manually (same as "Add Blink Pose"). Just click the button with fingers in a fist or extended pose to setup the controller and constraints
  • Rig: Apply Pose as Rest Pose now support animation preservation, to ensure animations do not break when changing the rest pose. Can bake one keyframe per frame (best accuracy with interpolated motions) or only existing keyframes
  • Rig: The eye reference bone can now have a custom parent, in case c_eye_offset must not be parented to the head/skull bones by default
  • Rig: Limbs are now alphabetically sorted in the "Add Limb" list
  • Rig: Edit Shape: Auto switch to vertex select mode, and select all vertices
  • Rig: Edit Shape: Mirror shape scale as well
  • Rig: "Add Armature" now also loads all existing actions from custom armature presets
  • Rig: Set teeth custom shapes horizontal by default
  • Rig: Add automatic LimitScale constraint to the wings fold controller
  • Rig: Init Scale is now an object setting instead of scene. When enabled, if scale keyframes are found, a message pops up before Match to Rig to warn the action will be unlinked from the armature
  • Rig: Import-Export rig data now keeps the filepath in file memory
  • Rig: Check for Update: the release log can now be opened in a web browser
  • QuickRig: Preserved rigs can now be unlocked, may be useful for small tweaks but not always safe (use it at your own risks!)
  • Skin: Shortcut button to show the deforming bone layer, if enabling "Selected Bones Only" (Bind settings)
  • Skin: New preference setting to remove existing armature modifiers when binding (so far, they were automatically removed). This is useful in case additional existing armature modifiers must not be removed (to mix with/without preserve volume for example)
  • Skin: Improved "Refine Head Weights", smoother deformations in the neck/jaw area
  • Smart: Better handling of errors when markers are ouf ot mesh
  • Smart: New "Clavicles Align" toggle. Enabled automatically with the UE5 preset
  • Remap: New DeepMotion preset
  • Remap: New Rigify preset
  • Remap: Update the XSens preset with fingers
  • Export: "Show Debug Tools" has been renamed > "Show Extras".  These extra features are still hidden by default for safety, because the break compatibility with other editing/exporting tools of ARP
  • Export: New Unset feature to revert the Set Humanoid Rig/Set Mped Rig features under Show Extras. Setting the exported armature allows to send to the UEbridge addon
  • Export: Sort alphabetically actions in the actions manager
  • Export: GLTF: The frame range settings are now displayed for GLTF export as well
  • Expot: GLTF: Actions export as multiple files now supports GLTF as well
  • Version: support Python 3.11 when opening files


  • Rig: Removing custom limbs was not removing the correct entry
  • Rig: SplineIK limb with custom names were missing Rig Main Properties
  • Rig: SplineIK root parent was assigned the parent of the parent incorrectly
  • Rig: Incorrect default eyelids position
  • Rig: Remaining eyelids when disabling facial
  • Rig: Bendy-bones chains were not deforming by default
  • Rig: Import Custom Limbs could import color groups with incorrect colors
  • Rig: Disable internally auto-keyframe when Match to Rig to prevent errors
  • Rig: IK-FK snap did not handle the Arm Lock-Free setting properly
  • Rig: Bake IK-FK was not supporting quaternions
  • QuickRig: Preserve mode was not compatible with multiple twist bones
  • Skin: Rest Pose error with VHDS skinning
  • Skin: Error when binding with eyelids borders set
  • Skin: Bind functions accidentally left in debug mode
  • Skin: Error with voxelized objects having negative scale
  • Skin: Binding objects with names exceeding 60 characters was leading to an error
  • Smart: Make sure to enable selection filters, otherwise they interfere with the addon if disabled
  • Smart: Error when detecting only facial bones
  • Smart: Ensures correct global scale when detecting only facial, by measuring the distance between the eyes
  • Smart: The Fingers Thickness value was inverted
  • Export: Error when applying modifiers over shape keys, while a modifier is enabled on render level but not viewport level
  • Export: Modifiers were not applied
  • Export: Error with meshes having Subsurf modifiers and shape keys, while Subsurf is disable at export time
  • Export: Spine bend bones had incorrect parent as humanoid
  • Export: GLTF actions export broken, syntax error

Older Releases Logs

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Sales 32800+
Customer Ratings 269
Average Rating
Dev Fund Contributor
Published almost 7 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
License Royalty Free
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