Rigging Females With Blender: Hands/Fingers

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Nearly every photograph of a woman has her doing something with her hands. This is a critical part of the rig.

Synopsis: We will rig each finger individually with IK constraints and create a master controller that will help with posing all fingers simultaneously. We will be able to quickly move the hand from the default modelling position to a natural resting position, make a fist, spread the fingers out, curl them forward or back, and have some reasonably natural metacarpal movement to simulate the action of the tendons on the back-side of the hand.

Supporting Me

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If you would like to support the free work I do, the extensive videos and documentation, and the community Discord server (click here to get in!) please head over to my Flipped Normals store and either buy a character, or a tutorial. Just spend whatever amount of money you feel equals the value I bring to the world. I also have a Gumroad page.

Images On This Page

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The images are of Monette Taida, whose hand/fingers rig is we will be rebuilding and updating. The technical overview will use Verachantesse, and the full tutorial uses the character Monette Taida. All characters can be purchased from my Gumroad page, philovivero.gumroad.com. Or, my newer, prettier store on FlippedNormals.

Lesson Sessions

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This lesson is fairly lengthy, broken up into several sessions clocking in around about 1hr, 20min. The sessions are as follows:

  1. (11m42s) Free Technical Overview: Hierarchy and Relationships and Constraints also available on Youtube.
  2. (19m01s) Metacarpals and basic fingers without IK. Creating the bones, setting up their parentage, and basic constraints.
  3. (27m52s) IK on each finger, and the extra “copy-rotation” constraint on the final finger segment. Also, thinking about re-keying animations after armature modifications.
  4. (4m43s) Talking about the fiddliness of roll angles and pole target locations. Re-placing the All-Finger meta-controller.
  5. (24m35s) The thumb, its controller, how it differs from straight IK, and deciding how to parent it, to the hand IK controller or the allFingers meta-controller.
  6. (7m28s) Basic constraints on the metacarpals for fingers bent back/forward.

The full sessions are found on my FlippedNormals and Gumroad pages: Coming Soon to Gumroad and already live on FlippedNormals.

Bone Hierarchy

30p left 30p right Here is the Hierarchy of the hands/fingers rig. During the technical overview the two final digits of each finger are reversed, that is, the actual hierarchy is finger to finger.002 to finger.001. When we rebuild her hand rig, we’ll make sure these are in the proper order, with 1 before 2.

Hierarchy

  • ctrl-bodyMove
    • ctrl-handIK.L,R (placed at tip of forearm)
      • mch-ikHandle-thumb.L,R
      • def-metacarpal-index.L,R
        • def-finger-index.L
          • def-finger-index.L.001
            • def-finger-index.L.002
      • def-metacarpal-middle.L,R
        • def-finger-middle.L
          • def-finger-middle.L.001
            • def-finger-middle.L.002
      • def-metacarpal-ring.L,R
        • def-finger-ring.L
          • def-finger-ring.L.001
            • def-finger-ring.L.002
      • def-metacarpal-little.L,R
        • def-finger-little.L
          • def-finger-little.L.001
            • def-finger-little.L.002
      • def-thumb.L,R (child of ctrl-handIK or ctrl-allFingers to your personal preference)
        • def-thumb.L.001
          • def-thumb.L.002
      • ctrl-allFingers gxx,ryy.L,R
        • mch-ikHandle-finger-index.L,R
          • mch-IKpole-metacarpal-index.L,R
        • mch-ikHandle-finger-middle.L,R
          • mch-IKpole-metacarpal-middle.L,R
        • mch-ikHandle-finger-ring.L,R
          • mch-IKpole-metacarpal-ring.L,R
        • mch-ikHandle-finger-little.L
          • mch-IKpole-metacarpal-little.L,R

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Educational Offerings

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We have two offerings. The first is a ~15-minute free technical overview video. This includes all the bones, their relationships, constraints, and some discussion. The second is a long-form lesson where we place all the bones from scratch.

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