Serious spine rig

Here is my basic stickman character…
Download blend file here: [stickmanbadback.blend]

As you can see, he’s pretty much completely rigged but his spine is terrible. :frowning:

I have tried to get the rig to cooperate with three hoop controllers, one around each of his shoulders, waist and hips. It is important that the controllers stay centered to the spine areas as I have done here, and the spine also needs to bend smoothly, which is where my rig fails.

Can anyone please help me with this rig? :smiley: :o

So far, I’ve studied all the spine rigs on BSoD, but I’m not happy with any of them…
Download my BSoD studies here: [click to download spineBSOD.blend]

Here are more variations of another attempt at trying to get what I am wanting (this time, inspired by the Bezier Curves off vector art)…
Download my recent spine-attempt here: [click me]
This idea might in a way be a bit closer, but the result still fails.

Please, can some blender riggers help me to achieve my goal of getting this spine to work how I would like it? :o

The goal:
:spin: Three controller hoops to make smooth S-bends in the spine, but which also stay centered (anchored) to the area of spine they are influencing.

Surely it has to be possible? :confused:

Thanks in advance.

I think you’ll do better going back to the curve deform. The trick (I think) is in setting up the curve initially as a NON 3d object. Rotate it into place as an object and then apply it to your spine.

Get everything aligned/working in 2d and then turn on 3d.

Hook emptys to the curve, and then parent each empty to your bones.

Not sure if this is where you want to go with your rig, but I thought it might help if you knew that it DOES work. It just seems impossible. (this whole area could use some cleaning up if you ask me) :slight_smile:


bend_spine1.blend (51.9 KB)

Did you see this video.
My rig for this pen can work with a spine, if you are interesting, I can give you the blend file.
(sorry for my poor english)

It’s really late here now, and been a long day, but it’s great to see you guys have answered this one.

pappy… that file does look promising! At first I thought the pipes were bending too sharply, but then I noticed that if you scale the controller hoops, it adjusts the curve. I’d been giving up on the curve idea because of how the BSoD example has uncentered controllers, but you seem to have gotten around this. Do you think it would be useable as a spine in standard mesh rigs?

kiopaa that also looks very much like what I’m after. Is it similar to pappy’s solution? A blend file would be appreciated.

Thanks both. :smiley:

My rig works with B-Bones and some more…
You can find a blend file on my portfolio or here.

Hi Lancer!

I use 3 controllers for the spine in BlenRig. The only drawback is that the upper controller doesn´t stay fixed to the spine.

Yo can download it here

Hope it helps!

Different approches, AMF I’m not quite sure how the crayon rig works at all! Very clever that it does, and that it has no need of the additional curve modifier and emptys that I used. I’ll have to play with the basic concept and get to know it’s possibilities.

I would think that either method could be implemented, though I would think that kiopaa’s method might be the easier to do.

Hi Lancer, I guess you may be interested in my attitude to spine rigging:

Just wanted to drop a line to say thanks to those who have been answering my request. I’ve has a few commitments hitting the fan at this end, though am really excited about the rigs here as I will no doubt learn a lot from them. They all appear to have taken different approaches, so I might even try several characters based off each one (for learning). Thanks again.

P.S. jpbouza… I was a little confused about the “No Derivative Works” licensing of your rig. If I was inspired by anything I saw and then made my own rig, would that mean I’d be restricted in how I could use my new rig?

I dont know if mine will interest you but here it is.
It s not really complex but i like it :slight_smile:

Hi Lancer, the “No Derivative Works” of the BlenRig License refers to selling BlenRig or any rig based on it. Apart from that you can do whatever you want.

Still, if you happen to be inspired by something you saw in BlenRig, it would be cool that you mentioned BlenRig in the credits of your new rig, hehe :wink:

I’ve finally had some time to make a spine based on Kiopaa’s solution, although my result is not as smooth as I would like.

  • Kiopaa had script in his pencil rig, which prevents a certain rescaling bulge. How would I apply the script to my own rig?
  • Like I said, my result is not as smooth as I would like. Anyone know how to improve the spine bend?

Please attached file. :slight_smile:


stickman_newspine01.blend (154 KB)

Hello Lancer,
It’s true that there is a script “bone_preserve_volume” with the pencil’s blendfile (it’s a script from BBB), but I don’t use it for my rig. “volume_preservation” is made with the StrecthTo constraints.

I will look at your blendfile.


Aha… I see now. The Vol: in stretchto needs to be set to “none” for both my spine_lower and spine_upper bones.

Be good if you could look at the rig, Kiopaa (thank you) as the spine is stretching & deforming badly. I tried to weight paint things to behave but it’s still ugly there abouts. Move the middle waist around to extremes to see what I mean.