Quadruped Rigging Hind Legs IK?

Hi Everyone

I’m having some trouble rigging a quadruped set up for a horse like creature.

This is what I have so far but I’m trying to get the action to move the foot in the air and the leg concertina up fully, you can see I rotate the shin bone manually here:

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Tom Jelfs

You could have your lower shin bone copy the rotation of the IK target bone with an offset. This has a limitation that you will lose direct control of your shin. To regain control, make a duplicate shin bone, name it shin-parent and put the copy rotation on that bone. Place that bone into a hidden layer. Parent your old shin to the new.

Now your IK target’s rotations will determine the rotation of the shin, but you can still change it’s rotation by hand.

Good luck!

Do a forum search for a user name - ‘waylow’. He rigged a horse and a dog and released them to everyone. They are also on blend swap as well. Both these characters used a double IK setup on the back legs. With this setup, the hind leg had a foot controller, and 2 pole targets, on for the regular knee, and one for the back joint above the foot. This leg setup worked well, and you could look into how he rigged them to get ideas how to do this.

Please note that these characters used python scripts for the UI fk/ik switches and so on. They are old characters, circa blender 2.55 or so, so the scripts are out of date. They will need updating to get them to work with the current version of blender. If you go this route and want the scripts updated, let me know and I can fix them up for you.


edit: Here’s a video of the dog character, animated in blender 2.49…

Thanks for the replies.

OK so I ended up adding a second IK constraint which targeted the same control bone as the first IK did, then I had to check the Rotation Weight. It’s seemed to need for the bones be set up at more of an angle, I think this is called the “preferred angle” in some software. The front leg’s are different and no matter how I tried to emulate the same setup it wouldn’t have it, it kept forcing the bones into funny angles, however after watching some footage of horses and horse rigs it seems that they mainly move the top two bones as one.


This is only for a very basic setup, if I was going for a really accurate rig I’d be still playing around with it.

Now to skinning:

I’ve got the bulk of the actual creature skinning but I have some straps or reins modeled as a separate object is there a way (other than parenting to the armature and using automatic weights) to have the creature mesh deform the straps? In 3ds Max this was called the Skin Wrap Modifier.


Seems the Mesh Deform Modifier above the Armature modifier in the stack does the job.