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Videotutorial: Creating an FK/IK Rig


There's a new videotutorial on forward kinematics and backward kinematics on Blender Cookie.

Patrick Boelens writes:

In Blender 2.5 video tutorial series, we will be going over how set up a rig that can easily switch between FK (Forward Kinematics) and IK (Inverse Kinematics) controls using a single slider.

We’ll first go through the process of preparing and applying the Armature. We’ll then look at making the rig switch between the FK and IK controls using Bone Constraints and a Custom Property. We’ll then proceed to add in some Drivers and drawing the necessary properties in the UI using Python. Lastly we’ll quickly go over Bone Shapes by changing how the Bones appear in Pose Mode.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I almost get the feeling that making a rig is quite complex.
    I tried to make a rig of a worm where you can select either side and it will leave the other end in place while moving the selected side. I feel stupid as I wasn't able to do it, moving the other side would just move the whole rig. Back to the drawing board.

    Isn't bones in Blender a bit overcomplicated or is there something I'm missing? :)

    Looking into it soon again, but it seems that making a rig can take a long time and involves so much more that just making some bones, link them to parts of the mesh and you're ready to go...

  2. Hey Logan,

    Rigs can be as simple or complex as you want or need them to be. In your case, each bone has a root and a tip, and each extruded bone builds on it's parent's orientation. This is what's causing your parenting trouble. I've prepared a quick and dirty mockup for you to try out. It's not perfect, but I assume this is what your aiming for? I suggest taking a look at the IK-constraints and the 'Use Tail' option. =)
    The .blend:

    And Bart, thanks for featuring me on the site (my first time ever)!! =D


  3. I hate video tutorials.

    It is like chimps imitating the "get the banana" trick!
    No real background is given (the methodology behind the operations is missing).

    I know writing (tutorials) is hard, but it could be beneficial in many ways.
    For example it could help the developers identify ui glitches or help them to understand the naive approach of users.
    (I identified several FUBARs in this tutorial.)

    Otherwise Blender is not alone. Maya or Softimage docs are nearly as bad as blenders.

  4. Thanks for your efforts in producing this video tutorial. I've gotta say video tutorials are my preffered method of learning. Guess I'm just a chimp! I've been working flat out at Blender for a couple of months now, and there's a lot to take on board, but without these tutorials I would have given up.

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