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Tutorial “Adding a Rig to a Simple Model and Constraining Knee and Elbow Joints”

A very simple rig but it does introduce the concept of control bones. Although a very basic rig it is surprising how realistic movements can be.
Simple rigs are useful for story boarding and other applications where complex models would slow things down.
It is recommended that you do the first two tutorials in order to understand the rigging of the model, after that do the ones that look interesting.

This tutorial shows how to create a rig of a simple 3D character (monkey man), it is ideal for showing the principles of rigging to beginners.

Below are the Blender files for the original model and the model with a rig added, use first file to copy the tutorial, you should end up with something like the second one –
monkeyStart.blend
monkeyWithRig.blend

The key points are

How to add bones to form a skeleton
How to add constraints so that bones move in a similar way to a human skeleton
How to bind mesh objects to the skeleton (skinning)

In detail

In object mode adding an armature bone
In properties for the armature turning X-ray on
In edit mode adding next bone use E to extrude
In pose mode turning x-axis mirror on
In edit mode use shift E to extrude arm bones
Use alt P to break connection and move bones into arms
Repeat for leg bones
Use Ctrl P to create parent relationship between arms, legs and the back bone
In pose mode, select a lower arm bone, select bone constraints in properties window and add IK constraint, set chain length to 2, repeat for all limbs
With a lower limb bone selected in bone properties limit the x-axis rotation (lock y and z)
Bind each mesh to corresponding bone using parent/child relationship.

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