braid rigging for poseability

Hello, I appreciate you taking a moment to read this.


I am a visual artist creating reference models of my characters for a comic. Skill level intermediate-ish. I have problems with my hands so I have to plan things out pretty carefully, hence the following.

I plan to use the figures to check poses, lighting, and angles for my compositions, make sure my superficial details are properly scaled like fabric patterns, and so on. Compose first, then check.

If my 3D stuff is good enough, I plan to release some of it, like recreate panels with particle effects and everything, release assets, etc.


A lot of characters have long hair, and I need to be able to pose it. It’s a little easier because most of them wear braids.

Sample Problem:

One character has 6 braids, specifically rope braids, with one in front that will move a bit and 5 hanging loose from a raised ponytail down their back. Probably about 2ft/60cm each in length, about mid-back. So, long enough there’ll be some spring and whipping action to consider.


Should I just rig the braids for IK/FK?

Maybe add a ragdoll rig? Jiggle bones?

I’m not entirely sure what the best approach would be for my purposes. I’d like to work out a process that would be applicable to all my figures with braids. And possibly ponytails – lotta those too.

Thank you.

Spline IK…

Sweet! I had not found any reference to this method before.

Thank you very much!

there’s also the Nathan Vegdahl Mr. HotDog method… (find reference to this in his Humane Rigging Tutorials)

but I really like Spline IK for Tails and Pony Tails …

Norvman, do you have any cautions or observations etc using this method? Just in general terms. Like things to avoid?

Yes… don’t be afraid to experiment… and when you run into a problem come back here and post… the Blender community … just like most open source communities love to problem solve… so generally speaking people are much more helpful and quick to pick up and answer quesitons than people on forums of traditionally obtained software… I’m not sure why that is… but I have found it to be true…