Exporting your character from Blender to a Game Engine is hard.
Especially if you don't understand the underlying tech (and frankly, who does?) exporting to a game engine can feel like a minefield.
- Why do my animations look different after export?
- Why is my character distorted?
- Why are there more bones than I need?
- etc. etc.
That's why we created Game Rig Tools (GRT)
I spent countless hours testing different ways to export characters from Blender to Game Engines. And when I figured out the most reliable workflows, a coder friend helped me automate them and compline them into this Blender addon.
Now you too can export optimized rigged characters with ease!
Here is what this addon can do for you with a few clicks:
Game Rig Tools can:
- save you a ton of time
- help you avoid pitfalls in your Blender to Game Engines Character workflow
To set the expectations right, this addon does not rig for you. Instead, it helps you Generate an optimized game-ready rig out of an existing Control Armature.
So, you can use your existing Blender rigs. Or download rigs. Or use Rigify - the free auto-rigging system. (If you want to learn Rigify, we have you covered: Rigify FREE basics course --||-- Rigify advanced course($) ).
With a few clicks, Game Rig Tools will turn any Blender Armature into a Game-ready rig!
The Core Module of GRT has two main features:
- Generate a Deform Rig from an existing Control Rig
The add-on can extract a Deform rig (a.k.a. Game Rig) from your Control Rig with a few clicks. The Deform rig can be easily exported to a Game Engine. It has an optimized number of bones, it is free of scale problems, and you have full control over the bone hierarchy (You'll learn more about these common issues below).
Game Rig Tools produces great results out of the box. However, the addon is highly customizable which allows you to adapt the Game rig to your needs.
- Action Bakery - easily bake Actions from the Control Rig to the Deform Rig
Having your armature split into Deform Rig and Control rig has a lot of benefits. However, one major drawback is that animations need to be "baked" to the Deform Rig before they can be exported out. Baking many actions by hand is time-consuming. Honestly, it's annoying.
Luckily the "Action Bakery" is part of Game Rig Tools. Just select all the Actions that you want to bake, click a button ... and relax while the addon does the work for you.
(NEW!) Unreal Tools
We now have a tool that allows you to rig any human character with the UE4 Mannequin or UE5 Manny/Quinn Skeletons.
The add-on has additional features that will speed up your work and allow you to achieve advanced setups.
- Mute/Unmute constraints
While working with your Deform Rig, you may want to quickly enable or disable the connection to the Control Rig. These two buttons will allow you to do that with a single click.
- Utility Tools & Clean-up Tools
A collection of useful tools for advanced constraints and rig clean-up.
How much does Game Rig Tools cost? ($)
We release Game Rig Tools as a pay-what-you-can product. We believe the addon is worth at least $15. But if you can't afford it, pay less or even get the addon for free.
You'll find additional tutorials (videos/PDF) that demonstrate some of the most common workflows in the product files. Follow them and you'll be on your way to hassle-free game rigs.
Get help, report bugs, and suggest features
If you need help, you're welcome to chat about the addon on the CGDive Discord Server!
If you're not on Discord, feel free to email CGDive.
Maya, 3Ds Max, Cinema 4D, and other Users - welcome to Blender ;)
If you are coming to another 3D package, rigging concepts that you're familiar with may not translate well to Blender. You may be wondering why controls are created using additional bones etc. While I can't cover all of these topics here, feel free to ask your questions on our Discord server. And I hope this addon will ease your transition to Blender, at least a little!
The add-on was designed to automatically address some of the most common problems for game-ready rigs. However, if you want to become a power user, I recommend that you try and understand the underlying issues and how Game Rig Tools is solving them.
Ready to become a power user? Please, read the summary and watch the additional videos I share below!
Even experienced Blender riggers may not understand why their fancy rigs don't export well to Game Engines.
There are differences in the way Blender and Game Engines operate. Some of the main problems you'll encounter if you try to export a non-game-ready rig to a game engine are:
- bad bone hierarchy
- unnecessary bones that bloat your game data
- unpredictable deformations if a bone in the rig is scaled (which happens when you try to achieve squash & stretch effects or just scale a bone for whatever reason)
The Solutions and how this Addon was born
I created manual solutions for the problems above and I shared video tutorials around my workflows. They worked great. However, they involved a lot of manual work and I lacked the Python skills to automate them.
Then, out of nowhere, Blenderboi - a very talented add-on developer - send me the initial version of Game Rig Tools, which he created based on my videos. After some back and forth, he tweaked the addon a bit and implemented the Action Bakery in record time. And now we are releasing it and we hope that everyone will benefit from it.
If you want to watch my earlier videos, I'll share them below. Do not focus on the manual solutions that I show since Game Rig Tools automates most of them. Just try to understand the underlying issues.
Here is the full YouTube playlist
The first video is 1 hour long but it covers a lot of beginner problems.
The next 3 videos may get a bit repetitive. Once you understand
- the "Basic Principle"
- why I split the rig into Game Rig and Control Rig
you can skip the rest.
A video dedicated to the Squash and Stretch problem for Game Rigs. You need to understand this problem even if you don't need Squash and Stretch for your characters.
Pay what you can afford! :)