From Jo Querrien


Okay, so you've finished making just the right animation or pose for your new AO/piece of furniture.  You even remembered to make sure that the first frame is the default T-Pose, and that you moved everything you were planning on moving at least 3 points in the second frame.  Now what?

First, you have to Export for Second Life.  In QAvimator, that is an option in the File menu.  Many other programs also have options to export for Second Life.  This will create a .bvh file that will work in virtual worlds, in the same folder your .avm file is in.

In the virtual world you mean to upload into, go to your upload choice (in Firestorm, this is in Build --> Upload) in your viewer's menu.  Choose Animation (for both animations and static poses).  Choose the .bvh file that you just created.

The upload window for animations has several options.  The first (and one of the most important) after name and description is Priority.  It is VERY important to upload things at the correct priority, or they will not work properly.  If you are uploading an animation for use in AO's, stands should be uploaded at priority 2, walks and sits at priority 3.  If you are uploading an animation for use in furniture, it needs to be at priority 4 so that it overrides the animation in the person's AO (especially important for sits!). Yes, that means you need to upload TWICE if you want to be able to use the animation in your AO and also in furniture.  Never use the higher priority furniture animations in an AO - doing so will cause those using that AO to be unable to use furniture properly.

The next set of options has to do with looping.  If your animation is meant to play only briefly (a sneeze, or jump, or hiccup), you want to NOT check the Loop box.  If your animation is meant to play constantly (a sit, stand, run, or walk) for as long as it is active, you need to check the Loop box.  The % in and out are where the loop starts and stops.  That is determined by the animation itself.  If you use Firestorm, you can choose a frame number rather than a % if you prefer, which is easier.  You can also play the animation on your avatar and adjust the numbers until the loop is smooth with no jerking to a new position suddenly at the loop end.

Hand pose should be Relaxed unless you have a reason to choose some other hand pose.  Note that if you choose a one handed hand pose, such as Point Left, the other hand will default to jazz hands (that awkward splayed stiff fingered pose that keeps appearing on your avatar when you least expect it).

Expression is the facial expression that will be part of the animation.  Be aware that it will only play at the beginning of the animation, then fade out over time.  If you want to make a constant facial expression (warning - a smile looks like a grimace very quickly if it doesn't move), make your animation no more than 10 seconds long, and loop in at 0%.

Ease in and ease out are how long it will take the avatar to get from wherever it was to wherever the start of your animation is.  It is to prevent jerking.  If you want to jerk into the animation for some reason, set Ease in to 0.  Normally, the default 0.300 seconds is enough to make a natural looking shift.

The last thing on the upload window is the set of controls for playback.  Here, you can see what your animation will actually do before you upload it.  Press the play button (some viewers show it as a right facing arrow, others as a movie camera) to see your animation played on your avatar.  If it should be looping and it isn't (or shouldn't be and it is), adjust your Loop choice accordingly and play again.

Once you are sure you have the correct priority, and your animation looks right on your avatar, upload.