Animating the avatar

Some objects need an animation so that it sits better with the object such as a torch or lantern that the character interacts with within the game. Sometimes you just need to animate your character in a certain way for it to work within a machinima like a reaction or body movement for a specific moment.
After downloading the free animating software for Second Life characters named Avimator, we began to move the avatar by moving its specific body parts after setting to the second frame of animation. It automatically is set at 30 fps (frames per second) which is what most animations are set too, being between 24 – 35 fps. The point of putting it onto the second frame is so that the program knows that you want the avatar to start in the normal set position and then move into the animation. This is called the ‘T’ pose which is pretty self explanitory….

Once you’ve moved the avartar the way you want depending on how many frames and how much movement, you need to then save it which actually turned out pretty difficult for me at first…. madness but yes…. You need to choose the right area and then place a ‘/’ after it and then the file name and .bvh at the end.
It did crash on me at home but it’s fine at college…. not sure why but there you go.

After the troublesome task of saving it, it’s just popping onto Second Life and uploading it as an animation. There’s a short script as well that you need to place in with the animation onto the object that you wish to animate but… it’s not too bad! It’s pretty much like the sound scripts where the object just needs to know to play it, when to play it and obviously play what.

There won’t be much animation involved in our machinima with the avatars actions and such but I think we will use it if possible. At the moment on the only bit of animation the avatar has is for the lantern which he gets.


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