#4 In focus! – BVHacker

bvhacker_screenshotIn Focus! this article is the tool known as BVHacker, a tool ideally suited for preparing animation files for Second Life. So just how does BVHacker do this? Read on!

Well BVHacker is a tool designed to give full control over  every aspect of a bvh file, it’s a tool that’s not intended to be used to create  bvh animations (there are a selection of packages out there already, both free and commercial which Iare listed at the bottom.) but as a tool for converting existing bvh files into a format usable for games such as Second Life.

However, since it’s creation, BVHacker has evolved into a tool ideally suited to preparing animations for uploading into Second Life.

The bvh files created using motion capture data can be found all over the internet, one of the more well known an established sites which is recommended is Animazoo because the files there are free to use without legal obligation.

Producing animations using real motion capture data can make the final results look far more natural than those produced using artificially generated motion data.

The initial idea for BVHacker came after creator found he could not import a bvh file from Animazoo into Second Life. So the programe was created with Second Life in mind, the reason I share this program this article is also a personal one, many animations in Second Life are free ones on the internet being sold. Before you throw out a few thousand lindens, check the Animazoo and see if you can bring it in for 10 lindens using BVHacker.

Things you can do with bvhacker

  • Convert many types of bvh files to be Second Life compatible
  • Add, remove and rename joints
  • Make adjustments to any motion channels across all frames at once
  • Make adjustments to the joint offsets (i.e. skeletal structure)
  • Zero out any motion channel (e.g. to keep the figure from ‘wandering off’ from the origin)
  • Trim off frames from the front and back of the file (to create a loop-able animation)
  • ‘Knit’ together the start and end frames for smoother looping. (Uses linear interpolation only)
  • Set a T-pose for the first frame (for Second Life compatibility)
  • Adjust the frame time to speed up or slow down the animation
  • See graphically how the joint structure and motion data work together
  • Quickly and easily see which axis the arms are aligned on
  • Open and view many other bvh file variants
  • Get a detailed report on your animation listing any common errors or problems.

Things you can’t do with bvhacker

Create a new animation using key framing. For that these programs are are recommended.

Using the tool itself is easy, thanks to davedub putting up two wonderful tutorials and a basic overview of the interface, which are located on the main page for BVHacker. As well as a wonderful Forum for support.

A Special thanks to Davedub for your help with this article.

Happy Building!
BRN Blog Team!

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One Response to “#4 In focus! – BVHacker”

  1. http://www.bvhacker.com/

    The very best tool to fix BVH files, FREE!

    New Features in version 1.6:

    In addition to the new square shoulders feature…

    * Ability to undo last operation
    * Simple resampling (downsamples to half number of frames)
    * Split and enhanced SLify function into to separate functions
    Attempt SL bone renaming, Attempt retarget to SL). Joint sizing
    function now uses quaternion magic for a far smoother conversion of
    arms axis alignment and joint rotation order
    * Added support for bvh files with position and scale motion data
    values
    * Separated display of joint offset and motion translation data.
    Joint offsets now displayed in joint properties and translation data
    values are displayed on dynamic sliders.
    * Added support to allow the typing in of values for slider X,Y
    and Z values
    * Added support to allow the typing in of values for slider range
    * Added support to allow the typing in of values for joint offsets
    in joint properties (X,Y,Z)
    * Added support to allow the typing in of values for frame time
    * Center function: centres the first frame of the animation in X
    and Z
    * Added 25 new keyboard shortcuts (see below)
    * Tidied menu and removed experimental functions
    * Made file open and save dialogs re-sizable
    * Global hips rotation is now possible (‘standard’ ZXY rotation
    order hips only)
    * Added figure head to display

    Bug fixes:

    * Fixed add and remove joint bugs where subsequent joints down the
    hierarchy were sometimes not correctly parented
    * Fixed bug where bvhacker exited when the escape key was pressed
    * Fixed bug where bvhacker exited when return was pressed when an
    edit box was being edited
    * Fixed flickering joint properties pane
    * The ground plane was sometimes not easily visable from ground
    view. Fix: set ground colour to black when on ground view

    Keyboard shortcuts

    * T: Select translation editing mode
    * R: Select rotation editing mode
    * Space: play/pause
    * Cursor keys left/right: step forward/reverse
    * Cursor keys up/down: select next/previous joint
    * Home: Go to first frame and stop
    * End: Go to last frame and stop
    * Insert: Insert joint above currently selected joint
    * Delete: Delete currently selected joint
    * F2: Rename currently selected joint
    * N: No offset (remove hips offset)
    * C: Center skeleton in X and Z on the first frame
    * S: Set T – Add new frame at start of sequence with rotation set
    to zero on all joints
    * D: Remove T – Remove the first frame
    * L: Fix loop bug (SL VWR-3783 bug fix)
    * F: Toggle front view
    * V: Toggle side view
    * Ctrl Z: Undo last operation
    * Ctrl O: Open File
    * Ctrl S: Save File
    * Ctrl Q: Quit
    * Ctrl +: Scale Up
    * Ctrl -: Scale Down

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