Blender 3D News and Training

Bow and Arrow Rigging – Part 1

Posted by Chris Plush on Jul 31, 2012

If you don’t have your own bow to work with, download the start file for this tutorial below.

This tutorial series will take you through rigging and animating a bow and arrow. The goal for this series is to use this rig in a game to aim and shoot arrows with, but the rig in this tutorial is made for general animation as well. In this first part, we’ll rig the bow so that it bends back automatically when you pull back just one bone. We’ll do this by using IK constraints and a super awesome Limit Distance constraint. Thanks to Lee for helping me get past some obstacles finding the most accurate and efficient way to rig this.

Chapter List –

00:53 – Adding bones to the top and bottom of the bow, and adding a string bone
02:40 – Parenting the mesh to the rig
05:20 – Creating a main bone to parent the whole rig to
06:40 – Creating the top_ik bone to be the ik solver for the top of the bow
07:30 – Adding the IK constraint to the top of the bow
08:40 – Why the Limit Distance constraint doesn’t work on its own
09:42 – Creating a workaround to this problem by creating a new rotation bone
10:18 – Parenting the top_ik bone to the new rotation bone
11:25 – Adding a Limit Location constraint to the string bone
13:05 – Adding a new top_limit bone
14:00 – Parenting the top_limit bone and new rotation bone to the main bone
14:20 – Adding Limit Distance constraint to the top_limit bone
14:50 – Adding a Track To constraint to the rotation bone
15:47 – Duplicating and flipping the new top bones to the bottom
16:30 – Adding an ik constraint to the bottom of the bow
17:37 – Animating




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Comments (31)

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Eimantas Kabakas
Eimantas Kabakas

Hey, I am trying to rig the bow and I have a problem where I get the bow string, put it into place and then I merge all the bones into one and when I merge the bones with the bow, my bow string does not attack to the string of the bow but the rest of the bones are all fine. Can you help me ASAP please! Thanks.

Chris Plush

Hey, if you’re still having trouble you can send the blend file to me at contact@cgmasters.net and I’ll check it out. It sounds like the vertices of the string weren’t added to the string bone vertex group, or maybe the string bone doesn’t have the same name as the vertex group, but I can investigate better if I had the blend.

Thebutcher
Thebutcher

hi the video is awesome but why i cant go in edit mode for the main bone and string bone at the same time as you did at 06:10
so i cant keep offset them .. if i select main bone and the others 2 my string bone is in pose mode or object mode i tried to make it all ofer again and it has the same effect i dont know where am i wrong would you help me please

Chris Plush

It sounds like you added the string bone as a separate object, meaning you added it while in object mode instead of edit mode of the main armature. This can easily be fixed by selecting both sets of bones in object mode and press ctrl+j to join them together.

Svet
Svet

hello great tutorial!! can i make it as animation?

Chris Plush

Glad you liked it! And are you asking if it can be animated(yes that’s what rigging is for), or if you can use this bow in your animation(yes if you credit me)?

Svet
Svet

ty for the answer and i dont have animation yet .. i am new at blender and i hope ill learn how to make cool stuff like you đŸ™‚

Aindréas
Aindréas

Great tutorial. Thank you so much.

Brandon
Brandon

Hey man thanks to your help I’ve got my bow completely rigged!!!

Chris Plush

Great to hear! Have fun with it =)

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