New Video Tutorial - Using BVH files with Messiah


EDIT: I have now moved all the tutorials to one place. Hopefully my ISP can handle it.

You can get them all at:

“Method 2” Assumes you have watched the first series, and moves somewhat faster…

Hey all…

This isn’t meant to be a dis of Ulven’s Video… but I figure maybe this may be helpful to some one who runs into problems, like I did.

Today, I finally got a work-around to the probelm I was having following along with Ulven’s tutorial.

I’m not sure why, but the joints on my BVH motion rig were always getting screwed when I tried to follow along with Ulven. After trying different things, I came up with something that works – at least for me.

I made a video tutorial of it, using JING, and it is stored it on Screencast. Basically, the first 3 videos explain the problem I was having. The fourth one shows how I got around the problem.

Then I put together 5 step by step videos that shows the whole process from start to stop. I used the THIEF.BVH that ships with Messiah, and the Dummy.LWo file that ships so if someone wants to follow along, they can be using exactly what I am using.

Probably no one on this board needs this tutorial except me (which is kind of ironic, actually, since I don’t need it anymore, either…) but in case some other noob is having the same problem I was having, I am leaving bread crumbs behind…

If anyone has time, and wants to check it out, I would love to have feedback. Particularly, I want to know if I say anything that is just plain wrong, or if I miss something obvious. That would be very helpful


Links (JING only permits a 5 minute file, so I had to break it up into small chunks…):


Ulven’s Example:

My Problem:

My Solution:

Step-By-Step - Part1:

Step-By-Step - Part2:

Step-By-Step - Part3:

Step-By-Step - Part4:

Step-By-Step - Part5:

And the brand new method that came from Tama’s suggestion can be found here:

You can get to the new series here:


Thanks for the videos!:thumbsup:
Good quality and thorough.

Have you tried to load the .bvh file with nulls and bones?
Uisng that method allows the setup mode to retain the pose.
After loading you can just go to Setup Mode, adjust the arms out using the
RightUpArm and LeftUpArm nulls bank setting for frame one. Make sure you set the
XForm selection to OFF prior to adjusting the bank or else all keys will be adjusted within setup mode.



I am a noob :scream: and I can bet that I will run into the same problem that you did. The bonus to these videos will be that I will learn from approach to resolving. I appreciate your efforts to make a tutorial and put up several video links.:thumbsup:



Hey, thanks for taking the time to watch it!

It’s nice to get feedback… It’s really frustrating when you do something and it goes into a big black void…

Nope, I sure didn’t. I just followed Ulven’s example “Monkey See – Monkey do!”

But you have intrigued me… I need to play with the different options… Shucks… will that make the whole tutorial I did obsolete?


I took a quick look at Ulven’s tute to see how he loads the bvh file. He loads the bones without the nulls. I see he then selects the entire set of bones while in Animate mode and next hits the F5 tab to bring up the available scripts tab and then runs the script
motlib_current to setup noupdate
Go to Setup mode and your skeleton will now be posed the same as frame one in animate.
Maybe this helps?:shrug:

Nice quality tutes btw. the more tutes available for messiah the better.


Good Job Mark…

We all appreciate it when someone takes the time to contribute!


Good stuff. Great to see more messiah guys picking up the baton and making tutorials.


Thanks much for the insightful tutorial…very good of you to share what you have learned
so the rest of us can also benefit, nicely done!



You guys know that at the moment bvh loader in Messiah loads the joints in opposite direction right? Motion looks fine but in fact joints are rotating to wrong direction. Just beware and search the forum about this issue before going into full production with any motion capture. Also do not forget to write to pmg about it.


Thanks all for the words of encouragement!

Tama… wrt this:

Yep, I know… exactly what I did when I ended up with my screwed joint in the first couple videos.

I think the difference between Ulven’s result and mine – having watched his video again – is that he doesn’t have to move his arm as far up as I do. He does both a pitch adjustment and a heading adjustment… but it isn’t as extreme as mine, which is why I think the result is different.

Now… about your other suggestions… I did play around with the null parent to bones option. Actually, this didn’t change the result but turning XFORM to OFF does in fact make a difference. And, because everyone has been so nice to me with the “reviews” I went ahead and added some videos showing this method.

My JING account gave me a warning, btw. It seems I am coming close to the end of my bandwidth there. YIKES! I didn’t even know I had a limit!

So, I put this new set of videos up on my own site, and kludged together some web pages to show them. It’s kind of gross at the moment, but I think it works, and you can view the new tutorials without a problem.

If the other videos come up as a dead link, let me know. That means my bandwidth redlined…and I will move those over to my website, too.

You can get to the new series here:


Lawd, kursad_pileksuz… You give me way too much credit… I’m not even sure what that means :slight_smile: ! (Sounds bad though…)

Lucky for me, I’m a hobbyist so I don’t have a production of any kind… but I will add my voice to the others to get this fixed…

Hell, if BLENDER handles BVH files correctly, then Messiah should…


Yes it should. Actually it does, if you load the bvh files from the content folder it loads them correctly. However I think that bvh file spec has changed during years and Messiah has never been updated to handle new data types. That is my guess.

Just search the forum for bvh you will get some hits if you want to understand more.

As I said best solution is to write to Pmg and let them fix it. Fori fix things if you report him :slight_smile:


I loooked through the files and there doesn’t appear to be any format changes that I can see. THIEF.BVH works the same for me as the SEXYWALK.BVH (that I got from the Blender site).

Both had the shoulder joint rotated 90 degrees… but my workaround “corrects” that. I guess I don’t understand the joint problem you describe. I will try to do a search and see if I can understand it from the thread you mentioned…

I need to understand this, because my next project will be a BVH -> MESSIAH.FXS utility, I think. I would like to take any Messiah rig, and have the BVH file applied directly to it – instead of the intermediate step of using bones made from the BVH file. That’s my thinking, anyway…

On a side note, I did see some weirdness in some BVH files I found on the web. POSER requires a different format (go figure). They group things differently inside the file. Maybe that’s what is throwing everything off? You almost have to know “Which BVH format” now.

Also – I changed the location of the tutorials now, and put the link in the first post. If someone has time, I would love it if they could do a sanity check on the “2nd Method” videos I did, to make sure I’m not saying anything completely wrong. THANKS!


Thanks AJ. Noobs unite! hehehe

If you get to playing with the videos and can think of anything let me know. One thing I didn’t do was put the final “Solution” up there in a zip file… Do you think that would be at all useful? (The BVH and LWO files come with Messiah, anyway, which is why I thought a project file would be redundant…)


Great stuff there Mark. Finally got to do some reading here on these forums.

Keep up the great work.

Will touch base with you later on after work.

Best of care,



MarkIn TX, Thanks for these, excellent and clear and very usefull… Is it possible to get a downloadable version of the tutes?



When you say downladable version… do you mean of the Media files? Or the Messiah projects?

Because you should have the BVH file and the dummy.lwo file…


Works like a dream. Can I ask your advice on how to add BVH motion to a rig created using Autorig. Or what would be the solutions or work arounds.

Thanks once again for a great tut :buttrock:


Glad it helped…

Suricate gave some steps for this over on SetupTab – though if you are new to Messiah, you may not understand everything he is describing.

His steps are at:,701.0.html

But, you are right… this is an area very poorly documented in Messiah. Someone should do a full on video tutorial of this. (Maybe Wegg can take it on?) Unfortunately, it can’t be me. To be honest, I haven’t used Messiah in a few months. I had a system crash, and haven’t even loaded it on my new desktop – so I can’t do any step by steps.

Best bet is to try it and ask questions in setup tab. Post pictures and the project files, and the guys are likely to help…


I haven’t ever used BVH motion capture files. I animate by hand. Don’t think its something I’ll peruse. :hmm: