Hot to modify a rig


I’m pretty new to SI and rigging. Right now I just tried to rearrange one, two bones in an existing bone chain. If I try to move the joint (ctrl+j) I get an “an affected element is controlled in pos or ori” error message.

So let’s say I do have a nice rig for a lion and need to change it to fit to a tiger or leopard, how would I do this with all the effectors, constraints, etc., if I already get an error message for some very simple stuff. Which tools would I need to use to do this?



It could be that the bone’s orientation is driven via constraint so you can’t modify it.
You may want to get acquainted with the schematic, I find it works great to detect if an object has constraints expressions or any other links.
I don’t suggest you use that tool (ctrl+j) as it may/will break the resolution plane in IK situations.

I only use that to fine tune a chain when you just drew it while it’s still on the XY or YZ views.
You’re better off modding the length of the bone (length is inside the bone’s ppg) not scale.

If I’m unhappy with a certain chain. First i see where it’s attached at the root and effector.
Then recreate it and add an up-vector if it needs one (ik).


That’s something I realized by now, too. Constraints prevent you from moving or rotating certain things. So, how would I alter a proper rig to match it to another mesh? For instance tiger to dog, eagle to dove. In general it’s just the proportions. It can’t be that I need to disable all constraints (delete them) just to set them up again as soon as the bone proportions have been matched, can it? I would need to rebuild everything from scratch more or less?! That would be overkill!?

So how would I match my properly working rig to a creature with similar proportions and functions?

Cheers and thanks for the reply


You can start by scaling the rig, and you should be able to recover some parts like the spine which may also have controls to customize it’s length
You then go from there to the extremities.

Using the CDK may help but either way, there’s no simple solution here.


Oh, ha! No good news. :surprised


Another solution is to retarget a new rig made of only Bones/Nulls etc to the already made one with MOTOR.

Its not the solution you wanted but…

If you made the original Rig with the Biped Guide and if you still have your original Guide you can alter the proportions and create a new Rig, but on custom made Rigs you will need to redo them or at least part of them.

Best of luck


A “constraints enable/disable” button would be great. I guess then most of the stuff could get altered …


You can actually Deactivate temporarily the Constraints.

Branch Select your Model/ Rig (or parts of it) and on the Animate Menu go to:

Create----> Character—> Constraints Outside Model Boundaries----> Deactivate

Now your Rig will move freely without getting locked at the Constraints. When done adjusting Branch select again and Activate.

Never used this to re match a Rig… only to Remove or temporarily Deactivate Shadow Rigs Constraints from the Animation Rig.

In theory it should work but as we know practice is always a different subject :slight_smile:

Best of Luck


Cool! I currently don’t need to do this, but as I’m trying to come up with some proper rigs it would be a shame to realize at one point that I would need to do all this over again, only because the proportions of a model changed slightly.


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