BVH is a three-letter word

Okay, we’ve finished our awe-inspiring animation. Now it’s time to export it as a BVH file, so that we can upload it into Second Life and impress the ladies and/or fellas!

Exporting is done through the Exporter script in the bottom left panel. There are some options there that you could play with, but for this tutorial we’re only concerned with two things: the wide bar with a filename in it and a “…” button next to it, and the Export button.

The wide bar shows the directory and filename where the BVH will be saved to. By default, it’s the name of the blender file (e.g. “bvhexporter-2008-06-02.blend”), but with .bvh instead of .blend at the end. If you press the “…” button, you can select a different file to save to, using Blender’s weird file selector. (Tip: The file doesn’t have to exist already — you can type in a new name.)

Exporting your animation.

After you select the file where you want to save it, it’ll return to the exporter screen. Just press the Export button in the corner and … poof! The animation is exported! (It’s pretty fast.) Alas, I haven’t yet programmed an indicator to tell you that it succeeded, so you’ll just have to trust me that pressing the button did anything.


We’re so close… All we have left to do is upload our animation into Second Life! Log in, and use the “File > Upload Animation” menu item, then find the file that you exported to. Once the file’s selected, you’ll be presented with a lovely dialog (even lovelier if you’re using the Dazzle skin that our benevolent overlords have blessed us with):

Uploading your animation to Second Life.

You might want to check the “Loop” box, adjust the priority level, and/or preview the animation to make sure it looks alright. Once you’re satisfied, upload it!

After approximately 30 minutes, the asset server will finally respond, and the animation will appear in your inventory. Hooray! Let’s try it out:

Playing the best animation ever in Second Life.

Oh. My. Gooses. I’m crying with joy and awe at this magnificent animation. All our hard work has finally paid off! *high-fives!*


Alright, young padawan, now you’re on your own. Go forth and animate! There’s a lot more to explore, but you’ll have to do that on your own. Good night, and good luck!

  1. Intro
  2. Getting set up
  3. Using the camera
  4. Posing the armature
  5. Working with keyframes
  6. Exporting for SL

Psst. Dude. You’re totally done. Get outta here, man!