Trying to Rig Humanoid


As usual, I’m trying to run before I can walk (literally). I thought I’d have a go at a relatively simplistic humanoid rig. I’ve done the basic bones in the right sort of proportions and I’m trying to get the leg motion correct. I’ve got an IK constraint (chain length 2) on the shin bone to the green control bone at the heel and I’ve set rotation limits in the shin & thigh bone IK settings. It looks reasonably OK until I try to ‘step forwards’ whereupon the leg snaps back to the start position as soon as the tail of the shin passes the Z axis.

I know there are plenty of tutorials out there but I like to try to work things out myself. Unfortunately I’ve got a bit stuck so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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From what I can see, there appears to be no pole target.

Did you turn on AutoIK or have you used an IK constraint on the shin bone?

Setting up a pole target would be the best way (and the way it’s normally done) to set up your IK leg.

If you use an IK constraint, you can create another bone for the knee to point to.
Then assign the PoleTarget bone in your IK bone constraint (on the shin / calf / lowerleg bone).

  1. Set the chain length,
  2. add the pole target bone,
  3. and set the pole target angle (to get the knee to face directly towards the pole target)

I added this demo file so you can have a look around it. I added some extra control to the pole target so that it maintains distance when the leg bends.

Hope that helps!

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Hi Mark,

Thank you very much for again for taking the time to provide such a comprehensive solution to my latest problem. I’ll take a proper look when I have time (it’s a lovely sunny day here is Central France and lots to do in the garden). I’ve not used a pole bone before so that’s something new - I sort-of felt that the knee needed something to point to. As I said in the original topic - running before I can walk as usual!

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Well I hope you find it useful, it’s a lovely day here too in Spain. A bit hot perhaps but that’s only get worse as we deepen into the summer. Have a lovely day!

Thanks Mark. I’ve been trying on-and-off to make sense of your rig - have to say I’m struggling a bit with the pole bone thing but several Pastis don’t help. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. Our top temperature maxes at the high 30’s/early 40’s which is quite hot enough, especially when one works as a roofer’s labourer for a day job.

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Roofer, I’d love to do that for a job.

In my demo rig, I’ve made quite a few additions to just the basic IK chain but the base of it is basically:

► Create two bones (one is the IK target, the other is the pole for the knee).

► Select the first bone in the IK chain, add an IK constraint


► Choose the IK target bone as the target.

► Underneath you can then add the pole target bone.

► You may need to play with the angle of the IK chain so that it faces the pole target.

Here’s a quick video to explain it:

Hope that makes it a little easier!

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You may already be aware, but a great channel on YouTube for, at least basic humanoid rigging and animation is Imphenzia.

He has lots of great in-depth rigging videos.

If you don’t know it, it would surely be worth checking out.

Thanks, I’ll certainly check it out.

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That’s brilliant. Thank-you very much. Some lovely domestic background sound too.


Thought I’d help you out with a link…

There are 2 videos in the series prior to this animation video, low poly character creation, rigging.

And this animation video gives you an idea where you’ll end up.

I followed along with all this series and no detail is left out or quickly skipped over, so I highly recommend it.

Once you get a grasp of the basics and work flow here - you can expand upon it to suit your own needs.

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Many thanks.

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Yea the sounds of crashing, screaming and things breaking in the background and the fact I didn’t even flinch makes it obvious I’m a parent right?

Weekends aren’t ideal for making videos but I’m glad you found it useful despite that :smile:

Having a young family is lovely; I had a great time with my kids when they were young and your general clatter reminded me of times long gone. It’s not always easy but, hey, it is so rewarding.

Yes, it’s a special time when they’re young. I need to make the most of it because they’re growing up so fast.

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