jbRigging Tools

Josh Buck | (c)2008 - 2011 | www.cgartistry.com

jbRigging Tools is provided free of charge and is free to use under this license. If you find this script useful please consider donating to help fund further development. Or... if you'd rather buy me a beer, indicate that donated funds are for purposes of "beer" and I personally guarantee their allocation as such. Cheers!

Please send bugs, comments and suggestions for features and/or improvements to josh@cgartistry.com

Running the script

  1. Copy jbRiggingTools to a directory of your choice
  2. Start Maya, open the script editor and type or copy the following text into the MEL tab (be sure to replace the location with your own and use forward slashes with quotes):

    source "C:/YourScriptLocation/jbRiggingTools.mel"

  3. Use the "Execute All" button in the script editor OR make a shelf button by selecting the text in the Python window and going to File -> Save Script to Shelf


jbRigging Tools are tools for the quick creation of aligned and ready to be constrained NURBS animation controls with additional time saving features like auto-rigging IK/FK arms and a foot roll setup. Main features:

Control Shapes

Clicking on any of the Control Shape buttons will create a clean, single-node NURBS control shape.

Align on Creation : Toggle on 'Align on Creation 'and when created, the NURBS shape will align in both position and orientation to the selected object. This is useful for creating controls that are aligned to joints.

Xtra Transform Node : Toggle on 'Xtra Transform Node' to create a root transform node (a group) that captures the transformations of the NURBS control shape. This allows the NURBS control shape to remain 'zeroed out.'

Scale : A scale multiplier that allows you to change the base size of all NURBS control shapes on creation. This is useful when rigging very large or small characters. Default is 1.0.

Prefix : When created, NURBS control shapes are named based on the object they are aligned to and this prefix.

Shape Transformations

Shape Rotate 45 : Rotates the selected NURBS control shape 45 degrees in X, Y or Z. Useful for putting controls where you want them after they're aligned. NOTE: these buttons only affect the NURBS control shape and not the root transform node. Your control shapes remain 'zeroed out.'

Shape Scale : Scales the selected NURBS control shape up or down.


IK/FK Arm : Creates a rigged IK/FK arm from selected joints and controls. To auto-rig an arm with an IK/FK switch:

  1. Create your arm joints and controls. This auto-rig operation requires an upper arm joint, an elbow joint, and a wrist joint. You also need FK controls for each joint, an IK control positioned at the wrist, a pole vector control and an IK/FK switch control -- you can quickly create, name and align all of these from the prebuilt Control Shapes.
  2. Select the following scene objects in order:
    1. Upper Arm Joint
    2. Elbow Joint
    3. Wrist Joint
    4. Upper Arm FK Control
    5. Elbow FK Control
    6. Wrist FK Control
    7. IKFK Switch Control
    8. Arm Pole Vector Control
    9. IK Wrist Control
  3. Press the 'IK/FK Arm' button
  4. If all 9 objects were selected in the proper order a functional IK/FK switch is created along with a visibility switch hooked into the IK/FK switch to manage visibility of controls. Arm defaults to FK

IK Leg : Creates an IK setup with foot roll attributes (toe, ball, ankle, twist.) To auto-rig a leg:

  1. Create your leg joints. For the auto-rig to work you need to have an upper leg joint, a knee joint, an ankle joint, a foot ball joint, a foot toe joint (tip), a general foot control, and a pole vector control --you can quickly create, name and align all of these from the prebuilt Control Shapes.
  2. Set the pivot of the foot controller to where you want the heel to be.
  3. Select the following scene object in order:
    1. Upper Leg Joint
    2. Knee Joint
    3. Ankle Joint
    4. Foot Ball Joint
    5. Foot Toe Joint (tip)
    6. Leg Pole Vector Control
    7. Foot Control
  4. Press the 'IK Leg' button
  5. A functional leg setup with foot roll attributes is contstructed. Fool roll attributes are attached to the main foot controller.


Align : 'Position' and 'Orientation'. Aligns any selected object to another. First select the object that you want to align to, then the object that you want aligned.

Freeze Transformations : Freezes translate, rotate and scale transformations for selected objects.