How to do reverse finger rig set up?


Does anybody know how Jeremy Ernst got a reverse roll sorta rig on the hand of this character he’s showing off?

My assumption is he’s got duplicate joints of the beginning of each finger with IK on it. Those IK stick to the hand control. Then the rotations are either parented before the actual joint so it can still be rotated, or are added together into the final finger rotation. And then he probably has two IK on the thumb.

Then that rides a reverse palm rig that can rotate the wrist ik up, and there’s probably IK for the hand to keep it planted.

Which if is the case, then it probably wouldn’t work if you had joints in the palm of the hand for each finger for hand cupping and a bit of spread. I’m assuming it only works because the joint chain goes from the hand straight to the first knuckle. (So I’m guessing he has 3 joints per a finger, rather than 4, starting in the wrist)

Can anybody think of a way to get both? That reverse rig bending, fingers that can plant, but still have control over the rotation at the wrist for each finger, but the ik starts at the first knuckle, and rides that reverse rig? I can only figure out how to do it without the joint in the wrist for the extra rotation.

I’m sure that description is a mess, so let me know if you need more explanation or an example file.


I bet this guy does:



I already sent a message to him through his site. But I’m working on a rig now I was seeing if I could integrate in that feature last night, but ran into the issue I mentioned, and was trying to figure out the quickest way to get an answer. Who knows if he has time to reply right now.


well Hey There!
hm, sorry about not repsonding. my website contact form goes to an email I don’t check every day. Apologies. Tell ya what, give me 20-30 minutes and I’ll come back with some diagrams or something showing what’s going on there.


and here ya go!

kinda just wingin it so I hope it made sense!

Oh, and that reel that you posted…shudder, so so old now. New reel going up this week to replace that I think haha.


Ah. Awesome! Thanks for doing that.
(btw, I got your stuff from a mutual animator friend, Ted Warnock. I worked with him when I was the TD at Flying Lab Software. He also showed me your Gears 3 face stuff, which was awesome.)

Yeah, that’s helpful in that I think it answers my question. It’s pretty much the same setup I had made, and I think I’m realizing what I might have done wrong as I re-write this reply several times trying to figure out what to explain back I was still trying to figure out and answering my own questions as I go.

I think it was basically the same setup I tried, but I didn’t make a complete IK only hand rig. I just made the ik on the first knuckle and stuck it into the regular hand for testing. It may have been the FK IK switch that I went wrong on, thinking there was some way to get that for the FK side too, but that’d make sense now, because if I’m setting it up like a reverse foot rig, I don’t get that on the feet there either, so obviously I need a separate hand rig for the Ik arm then.

I think the part that was throwing me off is that each finger can start to bend at the wrist, but the IK starts on the next joint down for the fingers, and I made the mistake and did that for the thumb too. And then I was trying to figure out how to get the spread on the thumb without that ik pointing back to the start position. And then I was trying to figure out how to do that with the rest of the fingers, which started to seem like a dependency loop issue. That I would need that joint to move the ik to point the same direction, but then the ik needs to stay planed to get the reverse hand motion, if that first rotating joint is riding the reverse rig. But thinking about it now, it seems like the motion of the other finger knuckles would be minimal compared to the thumb. And If I put the IK on the first knuckle of the thumb then it should still work good enough.

(Sorry, not sure if I’m talking to you or me any more.)

Anyway, I’ll give it a shot from here and let you know. I was curious how you were adding on the cup and relax too, so that explains that better too.


This is awesome Jeremy! I am going to have to add this to my rigs from now on!