I'm fairly new to Blender and am having some problems with skeletons/armatures, specifically aligning fingers on a hand so they are rotated facing the same way. I can't find an option to do it in edit mode and it's making my end product rotate weirdly, mainly the thumb.

So say, I have a bone like this:

enter image description here

If I wanna align a bone in 3DS Max I press Alt-A which brings up an option to "Align" anything to anything, I can select transformations, rotations and scale, copying from the object I select afterwards. Here's an example:

enter image description here enter image description here

So if I select all the transformations, rotations and scales, it'll place it in the exact same location, rotated in the exact same way and scaled the exact same way, but maybe I just want to align their rotations so their axes are the same, I can do that easily by just ticking the appropriate boxes. This is great for aligning bones so that they're all on the same axis.

Here, I just ticked the rotations and you can see the rotation data has been copied to the bone:

enter image description here

So I wanna have fingers all aligned perfectly as they tend to be in real life, in Max I just do that method I just said and I can align the finger bones so that their axes are lined up.

In Blender I can't seem to do this, I just have to guess and hope that I've placed things so they're rotated the same. Is there some way to align the bones like I just showed in those images with Blender? Or am I stuck guessing and hoping things don't look too bad?


2 Answers 2


How to align bones' orientation to reference bone's one.

Using custom orientation

  1. Select Transform Pivot Point > Active Element
  2. Select a reference bone
  3. Make a custom orientation for the bone (Transfer Orientation > +icon)
  4. Select other bones and activate the reference bone then
  5. Press S, Shift+Y, 0, Enter keys

enter image description here

How to align bones' roll values to reference bone's one.

Using Alt key

  1. Select the bones and activate the reference bone
  2. Hold down Alt key and make Transform > Roll text to be editable then
  3. Press Enter key

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This should be accepted answer! Detailed and well explained! Sharp and smart! $\endgroup$
    – Zony Zhao
    Commented Mar 12, 2022 at 7:23

You can add a bone Copy Rotation constraint then Apply Visual Transform to Pose then Apply Pose as Rest Pose.

enter image description here As far as I can remember someone here in BSE had created a script to make this process faster, you may find it with a quick search.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can't you use Armature > Bone Roll > Recalculate or SHFT-N then Active Bone in Edit mode to recalculate a bone roll chain? $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 15:03

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