Trying to pose bones after rigging/skinning a character

I’m a relative newbie to rigging and skinning, so apologies in advance if this is a dumb question. I’ve rigged and skinned a character using BlenRig. All appears to be working well, where I can grab a bone controller like elbow_pole_str_L to manipulate the position of the elbow bone (forearm_def_L).

What I would like to do – in addition to grabbing the bone controllers – is to be able to rotate individual bones with forward kinematics. However, I’m unable to rotate the bone in the way that I expect to rotate it and I’m not sure what’s preventing me from doing so.

I’ve attached an example file. In this file, if the _rig object is in Pose Mode, it is possible to grab elbow_pole_str_L and move it around:

However, if you select the elbow bone itself (forearm_def_L), no matter which way it’s rotated, it never rotates in the direction that a regular elbow would rotate. It will twist around on its own axis, but that’s it:

What am I missing?

Here’s the blend file: bone rotation (2.85 MB)


there should be a set of FK bones somewhere, hidden behind a switch. Try finding that switch (maybe as a custom property of some bone - they appear in the N sidebar if they exist).


Thanks, Hadrien. Your suggestion unlocked the solution. There is an armature layer called BONE-ROLLS which had to be activated, as well as an arm_L FK switch (found in the BlenRig 5 tab panel) that had to be turned on in order to rotate the bone forearm_fk_L, which gives me the result I was expecting.