BOUNTY #1 - realistic rigged human hand

I am presenting a new public bounty, payable via PayPal, for a universally useful Blender component which shall be published as an “open” resource, similar to the Ludwig or Candyman or Emo/Proog components. The core bounty amount is ridiculously low for the effort involved, so please only consider working on it if you don’t mind working for peanuts and love helping out the general public. I don’t even have a specific project in mind, so don’t think I’m doing this to get cheap labor on which I will profit. I’m not rich, but I think some cash will help free up some expertise to give the community something useful. Work in teams if you like-- the only thing that matters to me is that the actual model get completed.

The initial amount for this bounty is a paltry $50. Don’t say you were not warned. Anyone interested in donating more money to the bounty fund should contact me, but I have no idea at this time how such a thing should be administered.


The goal is to produce a hand mesh/armature combination which has almost all of the capability of the average human hand. If you need inspiration, imagine that this model will be used to display sign language for the deaf, or to sell lotions and creams in an advertisement.

The hand mesh itself can be rudimentary, but all deformations must be done by bone envelopes only. This is to ensure that the rig is easily transferred to anyone’s existing hand mesh easily.

The armature must use bone names that are sensible, and include a .R suffix on every bone to facilitate mirroring. Common medical names or English words preferred. Fingers are named thumb, index, middle, ring, pinky (abbreviated below as T, I, M, R, P, but don’t abbreviate bone names please).

Start with one bone for the radius (one of the bones from elbow to wrist). All other bones, either anatomical bones or puppet helpers, should be descendants of the radius.

Realistic angle limits should be assigned for all anatomical bones. Note that the largest bone in each finger can actually bend backwards from the plane of the hand on most people, but other finger bones cannot bend backward. This backward flexing is called finger extension in my textbook.

The three bones of each finger can be made to flex sympathetically, as do Ludwig’s fingers, with one puppet helper bone. That is, most humans cannot flex the joints of a given finger independently, the finger curls evenly from straight to fist. Forward curl-wise flexing is called finger flexion.

Two-part hand abduction/adduction (spreading/contracting) must be implemented. Generally, the thumb can abduct away from the index finger at will, and the four fingers can stretch apart or come together.

As the thumb adducts severely toward the pinky, the carpal bones inside the hand should actually twist a little to form a bowl in the palm and dome across the back of the hand. Observe this phenomenon on your own hand.

The wrist should be able to extend backward (wrist extension) or forward (wrist flexion), as well as bend thumbward (wrist abduction) and pinkyward (wrist adduction) slightly. Of course, the rest of the hand’s orientation is driven by the twisting of the radius at the elbow.

The results will be judged successful if it can develop the following poses: fist, one-finger-out (I), two-fingers-out (IM), three-fingers-out (IMR), okay (MRP), goose-egg (loose fist zero), four-fingers-out (IMRP), vulcan-greeting (flat hand, TIM together, spread space, RP together) stop (TIMRP together), five-fingers-out (TIMRP spread). If the pinky is not out, the thumb should be able to adduct in to realistically hold it down.

Realism in available motion is important, with the minimum necessary posing work possible. No cartoony stretch/squash features are desired or desirable.

If this project works out, I have a couple of follow-up bounty projects planned. Of course, the real incentive is to get serious rigs out there in the community so that everyone can learn from them and do real for-profit or for-fun animation projects.