Rigging with Control Rig

Start rigging by creating a Control Rig Asset and learning about its various features.

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In order to animate characters in Unreal Engine, you must first create controls for it. Control Rig contains various features and tools to create unique rigs for characters of all shapes and sizes.

This page provides an overview of creating Control Rigs, and the primary features of rigging.

Create Control Rig Asset

You can view the Control Rig Editor when you open a Control Rig Asset from the Content Browser. This Asset can be created in the following ways.

In the first method you can right-click on your Skeletal Mesh Asset and select Create > Control Rig. This creates a Control Rig Asset in the same directory with the postfix _CtrlRig. Double click the Asset to open it.

create control rig

The second method is to create a Control Rig manually. You can do this by clicking in the Content Browser and selecting Animation > Control Rig. Next, in the pop-up window, select ControlRig and click Create. Double click the Asset to open it.

create control rig

If you create a Control Rig this way, you will need to manually assign the Skeletal Mesh to your Control Rig Asset after opening. This is done by clicking Import Hierarchy in the Rig Hierarchy tab, then specifying your Skeletal Mesh.

import hierarchy

Refer to the Control Rig Editor page to learn more about the Control Rig Editor's interface and features.

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Control Rig Editor

Learn about the various tools and areas in the Control Rig Editor.

Learn about the various tools and areas in the Control Rig Editor.

Controls, Bones, and Nulls

Controls are the primary elements used when rigging and animating control rigs. Typically they are used to drive Bones, whereas Nulls assist in creating the location-space for your controls.

controls

Refer to the Controls, Bones, and Nulls page to learn more about these elements.

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Controls, Bones, and Nulls

Learn about the primary Rig Elements you can use for constructing Control Rigs.

Learn about the primary Rig Elements you can use for constructing Control Rigs.

Solve Directions

Solve Directions are used to enable different solver events that you can graph in the Control Rig Editor. Using these different solver events, you can bake skeletal mesh animation onto a Control Rig in order to make adjustments to an animation, or create specific setup events for offsetting controls.

solve directions

Refer to the Solve Directions page to learn more about them, and the features they enable.

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Solve Directions

Learn about the different solve directions in Control Rig and the features they enable.

Learn about the different solve directions in Control Rig and the features they enable.

Full Body IK

The Full Body Inverse Kinematic (FBIK) feature for Control Rig construction of robust IK chains in Control Rig. Using built-in bone controls such as stiffness, preferred angles, and joint limits, you can create FBIK rigs with a high degree of control and flexibility.

Refer to the Full-Body IK page to learn more about creating FBIK Control Rigs.

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Full-Body IK

Build Full Body IK systems for your character.

Build Full Body IK systems for your character.

Spline Rigging

Certain joint chains, such as tails, tentacles, or spines may benefit from improved control when using Spline Rigging. With Spline Rigging, you can create dynamic and procedural motion regardless of skeletal hierarchy and with fewer necessary controls.

spline rigging

Refer to the Spline Rigging page to learn more about creating Control Rigs that use spline controls.

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Spline Rigging

Utilize Splines in your Control Rig to achieve easier procedural animation on long joint chains.

Utilize Splines in your Control Rig to achieve easier procedural animation on long joint chains.

Pose Caching

The transforms of rig elements within a Control Rig can be saved and reused using Pose Caching. You can use a set of graph nodes to access pose cache elements in different ways, to apply different animation poses at different times in the Control Rig graph.

Refer to the Pose Caching page to learn more about caching and reusing poses.

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Pose Caching

Save bone poses and states to reference in your Control Rig graph.

Save bone poses and states to reference in your Control Rig graph.

Control Shapes and Control Shape Library

Controls can have custom shapes, sizes, and colors applied to them to help differentiate them in your rig. In addition, the Control Shape Library contains a customizable list of meshes that can be used as Control Shapes, extending the shapes available to you.

control shapes

Refer to the Control Shapes and Control Shape Library page to learn about changing your Control Shapes and how to use the Control Shape Library.

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Control Shapes and Control Shape Library

Customize your controls using different control shapes from the Control Shape Library.

Customize your controls using different control shapes from the Control Shape Library.

Control Rig Component

Control Rig data can be accessed from Blueprints with the Control Rig Component. This enables you to drive Control Rigs with gameplay logic in Blueprints, reinitialize Control Rigs to fit differently proportioned characters, and read / write other Control Rig data directly. Additionally, you can use this Component to attach non-skeletal mesh objects to the Control Rig hierarchy.

Refer to the Control Rig Component page to learn more about using the Control Rig Component in your Blueprints.

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Control Rig Component

Use Control Rig in Blueprints using the Control Rig Component.

Use Control Rig in Blueprints using the Control Rig Component.

Python Scripting

Control Rig elements, such as Rig Graph Nodes, Bones, Controls, and other entities are fully accessible through Python Scripting. Python can be used to create or edit Control Rigs as an alternative to doing so manually in the editor.

Refer to the Python Scripting page to learn more.

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Python Scripting

Drive, extend, and customize Control Rig using Python scripting.

Drive, extend, and customize Control Rig using Python scripting.

Debugging

Control Rig contains various debugging tools to assist you in finding and fixing issues inside the Control Rig graph. Several of these tools are based on ordinary Blueprint debugging processes such as stepping through nodes, toggling between debug or release modes, and creating breakpoints.

Refer to the Control Rig Debugging page to learn more about debugging your Control Rig.

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Control Rig Debugging

Find and fix issues inside the Control Rig graph using Control Rig Debugging tools.

Find and fix issues inside the Control Rig graph using Control Rig Debugging tools.