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v1.5.x BAO Bones

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BAO Bones


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BAO Bones

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BAO Bones

Ready to Rig, Captain!

The easiest way to rig and animate in After Effects! Setup and animate with IK in as little as 3 clicks.  With Bones, you can control a whole character on a single layer without needing any extra nulls or controllers.

Setting bones for an inverse kinematic chain has never been easier.


I love the fact that, although I am working with a PNG and not a vector, I can see no distortion or blurring on the body parts as I move them, which is amazing! I’ll keep playing with your plugin for a few days and it’s most likely that this will be my Christmas present for this year. smile

I tried Duik and found it to be more complicated to work with than this one and also own Rubber Hose but it doesn’t give me the same degree of flexibility Bones does (just in case others are wondering why your plugin is better). The movement flows so natural with very little effort!

Anyway, thank you for your fast support and for this awesome plugin!

– Mia Mateescu

How is Bao Bones different from other rigging tools?

  1. Distortion
    Duik and other IK rigging tools rely on After Effect’s built-in ‘Puppet tool’ for distortions.  The main issue with this is that the mesh from the Puppet Tools is automatic, which means you cannot define it, and of course, cannot change it over time.  With Bones, the mesh is defined to fit joint bending, and you can modify it whenever you want. You can even use masks to get very accurate distortions.
  2. Bones does not require straight arms or legs to rig
    With Bones, you avoid the hard work preparing and unbending your layers in Photoshop
  3. An entirely keyframable workflow
    This is the main reason Bones was created. With Bones, you can switch the IK mode from Automatic to Manual whenever you want, you can even keyframe Parenting and Selection points. In other words, never compromise the subtleties of your animation!
  4. Simplicity
    Bones was created for an animation feature film, which required the animation of A LOT of characters.  Bones makes it super easy to setup and manage many different characters.
  5. Fewer layers
    With Bones, you can control a whole character on a single layer without needing any extra nulls or controllers. This keeps compositions tidy and light.
  6. Speed
    Bones is a native plugin and does not rely on expressions, so it is really fast. Oh, and it is also GPU accelerated, so it is really, really fast!

Bao Bones New Features

  • New in version 1.3: You can add a child to any bone.
  • In version 1.4: Scale any part of your IK chain.
  • Watch tutorial videos on both of these features in the Tutorials section below.

Smooth skinning

Bones gives you the option to use masks to define the distortion mesh to get ultra-smooth skinning without any artifacts.

bao bones skinning

Puppeteer – Control your entire character on one layer

Puppeteer allows you to control many instances of Bones from one layer.

bao bones



After Effects 2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6

1.5.10  –  Apr 20, 2022

Fixed a M1 compatibility issue (Mac)

1.5.9  –  Mar 4, 2020

Fixed a Puppeteer memory issue.

1.5.8 –  Oct 25, 2019

Fixed a notarization issue (Mac only).

1.5.7  –  Jun 26, 2019

Updated the licensing code.

1.5.6  –  Dec 22, 2018

Fixed a texture size issue for Child layers.

1.5.5  –  Dec 6, 2018

Fixed a transparency issue and added a link to the online documentation.

1.5.4  –  Feb 1, 2018

Reupdated licensing library.

1.5.3  –  Jan 29, 2018

Updated licensing library.

1.5.2  –  Dec 1, 2017

Fixed a transparency issue in Bones_overlaps_manager.

1.5.1  –  Nov 29, 2017

Fixed a memory issue in Bones_overlaps_manager.

1.5.0  –  Nov 17, 2017

New module: Bones_overlaps_manager: Allows defining and animating a ‘Z’ value at start and end of each mesh, just like ‘Puppet Tool’ overlaps.

1.4.9  –  Sep 4, 2017

– Fixed a registration code issue.

1.4.8  –  Sep 3, 2017

– Added a “Fast preview” feature.

1.4.7  –  Jun 13, 2017

– Puppeteer’s been fixed.

1.4.6  –  May 16, 2017

– Added a ‘Child opacity’ parameter.

1.4.5  –  May 7, 2017

– Fixed an alpha issue.

1.4.4  –  May 6, 2017

– Fixed a Child issue.

1.4.3  –  Mar 11, 2017

– Fixed a parenting issue.

1.4.2  –  Feb 11, 2017

– Fixed an OpenGL context issue.

1.4.1  –  Dec 26, 2016

– Fixed a floating point precision issue.

1.4  –  Nov 21, 2016

– Added IK Scale feature

1.3.1  –  Nov 24, 2016

Fixed a UI bug.

1.3  –  Nov 23, 2016

Added “Add Child to Bone” feature.

1.2  –  Nov 3, 2016

Put the ‘Parent effect’ names back into the popup list.

1.1  –  Nov 19, 2016

Fixed a bug in ‘Parent effect’ parameter that caused a crash on some machines.

1.0.3  –  Nov 12, 2016

Fixed a UI bug for CS6 (both Mac & Windows).

1.0.2  –  Nov 8, 2016

Harmonized versions for both Mac and Windows.

1.0.1  –  Nov 8, 2016

Fixed an issue for AE CC 2014 (windows only).

1.0  –  Nov 7, 2016

Initial release

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