Welcome to the FREEIK documentation!

welcome

Install

Install like any other Blender addon. After installing you can set a shortcut for the FREEIK pie menu in the addon preferences.

preferences

Here is the pie menu itself.

pie_menu

It contains most functions of this addon.

Rig a model

To rig a model select its armature, start the pie menu and hit Make links button.

This operator connects all bones with ball-socket constraints, basing on their hierarchy.

make_links

If your armature has animation, check Adapt animation in its settings. This checkbox creates a new action and bakes original animation into it

Warning

Do not rename the bones after rig is done

Warning

If bones have not uniform scale, their resulting transformations may significantly differ from original

If you wanna connect bones which are not parented to each other select two bones and place 3D cursor where constraint should be. Then hit Make links and select Two objects mode in its settings. This mode also works with objects

Also, see video about rigging characters with loops in skeleton:

Posing

When you are done with rigging it’s time to pose your model. You can move, rotate and scale bones as you wish. Also, you can pin and unpin any bone using corresponding buttons from the pie menu.

pin

Warning

Not uniform scale of armature object may lead to strange behavior

Parenting

parenting

You can parent bone to any other bone only if they are directly or indirectly connected.

Any bone can have two parents: for posing and for playback. Pose parent is used only when posing and doesn’t affect the animation.

Playback parent affects animation and doesn’t used when posing. It is needed for correct interpolation between frames.

You can set pose parents of selected bones using Set pose parent button.

If you want to set playback parent , change the mode in operator settings to Playback parent

set_parent

Here is how Selected to active checkbox affects parenting:

parent_type

To clear parents of selected bones use Clear pose parent button

Also, you can choose which properties should be inherited from Parent settings menu (only affects pose parenting)

Animation

Unlike generic bones, bones rigged with FREEIK may have an extra rotation channel that should be keyed.

transform

To do this, i recommend to install this addon

When you install it,you’ll find out two extra properties in Transform keying set settings.

keyset

Local - insert keyframes on local rotation of selected bones

Linked - insert keyframes on all bones which are connected to selected ones

Also, every bone has Pinned property. It can be found in bone settings.

node_panel

Pinned bones work similarly to IK targets in normal rigs.

To animate this property you can use these buttons from the pie menu

pin

+- insert keyframe on Pinned property of selected bones

-- delete single keyframe

X- delete all keyframes

Important

Always key transformation on all bones of the rig on frames where Pinned property changing

Warning

Automatic keyframe insertion doesn’t work properly yet (will be fixed in next releases)

See how all this works in this video:

Splitting

Every constraint has Enabled property. Using it, you can split your rig into parts. This property can be found in object properties of the constraint.

link_panel

To animate this property you can use corresponding buttons from the pie menu.

link

Important

Always key transformation on all bones of the rig on frames where Enabled property changing

Optimization

FREEIK rig is quite heavy now.

For performance reason, it is better to have less then 100 active constrained bones in the scene (approximately 2 generic humanoid characters).

If you want many characters in the scene at the same time, you can bake the animation and disable rig on characters which you are not editing right now.

To bake animation select character and press Bake button from the pie menu. To disable rig press red lamp from the same menu.

Bake operator creates a new action and bakes animation into it.

If you want back to editing, switch to original action and enable rig using a green lamp from the pie menu.

Also, you can set solver iterations count or disable solver for entire scene from the scene settings

scene_panel

Clear rig

To clear rig use Clear links button. This operator turns back FREEIK rig to the basic armature.

Here are its settings

clear_links

Make hierarchy - if checked, bones will have parents Connected bones - if bone has a parent,bone’s head is stuck to the parent’s tail Adapt animation - if checked, bakes character animation before removing constraints

Warning

If bones have not uniform scale and Make hierarchy is checked, their resulting transformations may significantly differ from original

Overlay

From the overlay panel you can show or hide FREEIK overlays

overlay