I've gone through a lot of IK rigging tutorials on YT, however, all those video are only compatible when the bones are close to each other, However I imported a model from SFM into Blender, and that model uses a different rigging style, I could not apply IK to this model because of this different style

The original model rig looks like this : Original Rig

But I could only add IK after I changed the rig to look like this

Edited rig

If there is a way to add IK to the original rig, I'd be much obliged if someone would tell me how.


1 Answer 1


The idea is to consider your actual rig as the "deforming bones rig" and build another rig (which can have IK, constraints, drivers) and use it as "machinary rig": The MACH rig will have the joints in the exact same place of the DEF rig, but different bones orientation. Then you will put a rotation constraint (with local space-local space settings) in every joint of the DEF rig, pointing to the corrispondent bone of the MECH rig.

Set all MECH bones as "non deforming" and put them in a different layer of the armature.

You will use the MECH rig to program the animation and the DEF rig will follow exactly.

Then you can select the DEF bones layer, select all bones and - in pose mode - go to "pose - animation - bake action", checking "only selected" and "visual keys".

In this way you can export your animation that will act on you original rig, without any IK or constraint (expecially useful if you want to export to another software).

In this example I'm building a simple IK control for a leg;

This is the original rig:

enter image description here

Then I add 3 MACH bones with an IK chain of 2 bones, pointing to IK control bone as target:

enter image description here

The Upper Leg bone will copy the rot of the IK Upper, the lower Leg copies Rot of IK Lower.

In this example I've left the original foot bone without constraints and unchecking its "inherit rotation" option.

Consider that - using this tecnique - it's easy to control your original rig with a Rigify rig, with all its great features of IK-FK switching and tip toe foot controllers, just use the snap tools to build the metarig in the exact locations of your original DEF rig.

It's more complicated to explain than to build, once you get the idea everything works fine!

  • $\begingroup$ could you explain a bit on how to attach the MACH rig to the DEF rig? $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2019 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ You can parent every bone chain to the hip bone, which generally is the start of the tree structure. In my example the upper IK bone is child of the previous hip bone (with keep offset option). It all depends by the rig structure and the effect you want to achieve. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2019 at 18:23

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