Need Advice on Rigging Setup


I understand some of Blender’s basics, like navigation and placing objects. I am struggling when it comes to a different type of rigging I do not recognize, though. In the pictures below, I am not familiar with the boxes and rings around the model, which came created through Auto-Rig Pro. I know that the legs need proper lining up at least. I see this form of rigging from several models, not just from only Auto-Rig Pro. Where would I go to learn about this type of rigging? I do not know words to use for searching.

Thank you for your insight!

The boxes and rings are “widgets”… proxies that replace the bone shapes for controlling the rig. There should be group of shapes somewhere in the file that are used to take the place of the bones.

In the bones panel under display there should be a custom shape section that sets these shapes to each control bone.


I appreciate your information.

Just to correct a little here, the shapes are actually the bones themselves - set to take the appearance of an external object to better convey their function. You can toggle them off from the ‘armature’ panel in properties editor, to see what the ‘raw’ rig looks like.
On the other hand, a ‘proxy’ in Blender lingo is an object that you create when linking a rig from another file, to be able to animate it. The controllers though, they’re just bones, part of the rig. You can animate them directly from within the character rig file, no need for a proxy (even though that’s the recommended methodology, you don’t have to use one).

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Thanks for clarifying my use of improper terms.


I think I understand the concept behind a “proxy”. For learning, let us say that I have two Blender files with the same exact model. One contains a good rig setup, but the other completely lacks it. Would I be linking the entire rig to the other file’s model, where the rig does not yet exist? … Or do you mean I should just use controllers as a good practice? Perhaps, both?

Thank you.

The Blender manual provides a better explanation that I could ever phrase myself :
You can look up ‘maya references’ as well, they’re fundamentally the same thing (Blender’s version is more limited unfortunately).

Controllers are a different thing, they’re just bones with a special shape -or not, but every animator will tell you it’s preferrable.

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I understand controllers somewhat, so that helps. Thank you again. :grin: