Welcome to the FREEIK documentation!



Install FREEIK like any other Blender addon.

After installing you can set a shortcuts from the addon preferences.


Then install this addon

It provides a special keying set ,called Transform that is needed to animate with FREEIK

Rig a model

Here is the pie menu.


It contains most functions of this addon.

To rig a model select its armature and hit Make links button.

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


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


Do not rename the bones after rig is done


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:


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.



Not uniform scale of armature object may lead to strange behavior

There are three posing modes:

  • Smooth


  • Rope


  • Stretch


    This mode can be used to achieve stretch and squash effect by adjusting the Stretch factor property that can be found in bone settings


    See how stretch factor affects bone behavior


You can switch between posing modes using pie menu change_mode



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


Here is how Selected to active checkbox affects parenting:


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)


The animation workflow is pretty similar to usual armatures:

Pose model-> Key transformation of the bones->Go to another frame->Repeat


For nice interpolation it is better to key transformation on all bones of the character

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


That’s why you need a special keying set called Transform,which is provided with this addon

Here are its settings


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.


Pinned bones work similarly to IK targets in normal rigs.


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


+- insert keyframe on Pinned property of selected bones

-- delete single keyframe

X- delete all keyframes


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

See how all this works in this video:


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.


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



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


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


Clear rig

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

Here are its settings


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


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


From the overlay panel you can show or hide FREEIK overlays