There's a feature in Maya which I don't know if Blender can do regarding bones.

In Maya you can select a Parent Joint (or bone in Blender), and afterwards if you select every child joint (bone) in order (from parent to child) and execute a simple rotation using the rotation gyzmo, the whole joint (bone) hierarchy rotates according to the axis of each individual joint which is a feature very useful when creating fingers, because you can understand how rotation is behaving.

Can Blender do something similar to understand how bones would be rotating depending on hierarchy (besides turning on "Axis" in bone parameters and assume what the rotation would behave like when exporting to other softwares like Unity)?

example of bone rotation in Maya whith selection of parent bone with hierarchy

EDIT: I'll provide more information since I believe I'm a bit unclear:

In Maya, if I select all bones individually (I used "select Hierarchy" for fast selection) and rotate them, they behave as expected given their individual bone axis. But if I mess up one bone axis, the rotation misbehaves badly (which is to be expected) Maya Bone Rotation

In Blender, if I select all bones individually with individual selection, the rotation behaves similar to Maya, BUT, if I alter a bone axis with the roll and replicate the rotation, it behaves as if I hadn't altered any axis. Blender Bone Rotation

In Maya is pretty obvious to understand how a bone will roll, but I don't know if there's any way to visually understand this in Blender like in Maya (aside from watching the axis and assuming how the whole system will behave).

Thank you

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure to understand, if you select all the bones, choose Individual Origins as the Pivot Point and rotate with R, will it do the trick you're looking for? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Oct 23 '18 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ I've added an edit to my question, hope it helps to clarify. But short answer to your proposal, I believe not. $\endgroup$
    – Nova-Odos
    Oct 24 '18 at 4:01

Set the gizmo to manipulate all the selected items individually:

enter image description here

If you want the gizmo to act on each bone's local axis, rather than global, set it here:

enter image description here

It will take bones roll in mind.

This is however not a very convenient way to rig fingers. The easiest is to use Rigify and create finger rigs with it:

I need to add finger rig to a model that is already rigged

The idea is to have extra controls for rough pose and also access to individual bones for fine tuning.

It can be driven through constraints or with drivers, it can behave like this:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your reply, I didn't know you could rotate bones individually, but after some testing, it doesn't help me in what I'm looking for. I do know riggify is a good option on the fly, but I want to understand better the bone behaviour. I've added an edit, hope it help explains what I'm looking for. $\endgroup$
    – Nova-Odos
    Oct 24 '18 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Nova-Odos I addressed the edit. You can also set the same for most constraints (local/global) if you decide to drive the bones with constraints rather than with gizmo. $\endgroup$ Oct 24 '18 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ It's not quite about using drivers to emulate the movement, its more about understanding the rotation of the bones. $\endgroup$
    – Nova-Odos
    Oct 26 '18 at 3:10

To rotate multiple bones around their local axis you have to set the following.

  • The Pivot Point has to be set to Individual Origins, since the bones should rotate around their "individual" origin each.
  • The Transform Orientation has to be set to Local. Otherwise the bones would be rotated around the global axis which is the same for every bone, regardless of orientation.

These settings are found in the header bar of the 3D viewport.



  • $\begingroup$ After reading Jaroslav answer more carefully, I noticed that I just repeated the information. Maybe the slightly different presentation can still help you. $\endgroup$
    – Leander
    Nov 10 '19 at 11:08

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