Retargeting an Animation

Installing the add-on

Since MakeWalk is not part of the Blender distribution,it must first be copied to the folder that Blender keeps its add-ons. If you downloaded the add-on separately, decompress the rar file in the addon folder. If you got it with MakeHuman, copy the makewalk folder from MakeHuman’s tools/blender folder to the addons folder.

In Blender, enable the MakeWalk add-on from File > User Preferences. In the User Preferences window, MakeWalk is found under the Addons tab, in the MakeHuman category. Enable the checkbox in the upper-right corner, next to the running man symbol. Press Save User Settings to have MakeWalk loaded every time you restart Blender.


The MakeWalk panels appear in the tool shelf whenever an armature is the active object. Select the armature and press the Load And Retarget button.

In the file selector, select the .bvh file. We choose the file 90_04.bvh from the CMU database. It is a cartwheel animation.

After a short wait, the armature is doing gymnastics.

At frame 0 of the animation the armature has been placed in T-pose. This is not part of the originial .bvh file, but inserted by MakeWalk to calibrate the source armature (defined by the bvh file) and the target armature (the selected armature in the viewport) against each other.

Supported armatures

MakeWalk works with most straightforward biped rigs with FK arms and legs, such as the Rigify meta-rig. There is also built-in support for some more complex rigs: the MHX advanced rig from MakeHuman, the MHX rig from MakeHuman alpha 7, and Rigify.

It is often possible to use MakeWalk with other complex rig, but in that case the automatic bone identification may fail. If so, a bone map must be defined manually, see Defining a Target Rig Manually.


Retargeting is a rather involved subject, and it can sometimes result in poor motion. The process may even fail completely, usually because MakeWalk failed to automatically identify the bones of a complex rig. If this should happen, see Errors and Corrective Actions.

5 kommentarer till Retargeting an Animation

  1. perardgn skriver:

    Is it still called MAkeWalk or is it MakeTarget now? (I’m possibly missing something here)
    Have you given thought about explaining how the .bvh and the export should be for it to work ? (I’m sorry I can’t get it to work, and that makes me sad, my point is, this sounds like a really nice tool that may help me a to get characher animated faster).

    May I suggest a tool to add bvhs to MakeHuman, or maybe we should all build a free bvh database.


  2. thomasmakehuman skriver:

    MakeWalk is called MakeWalk. MakeTarget is another tool, for creating MH targets, i.e. the different morphs used in MH. It may be a bit confusing that converting an animation from one character to another is also called retargeting, but I think that is standard nomenclature.


  3. Maurice skriver:

    I just ordered the Neuron Mocap suite, which I am very much looking forward to! So in advance I downloaded the Axis Neuron software.
    Here you can find a lot of BVH examples, so I did some tests, I loaded and retarget the BVH’s onto my MakeHuman model into Blender.
    And I must say it is suprisingly accurate, if not perfect! The only thing that is missing is the movement of the fingers, which is really a pity.
    I think this is because the fingers are not beeing retargeted at all in this MakeWalk version. I am using version 0.943. Does anyone know
    if there is a newer version that does retarget the finger movement? I am not able to find that kind of information unfortunately.
    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards,


  4. Maurice1984 skriver:

    Hi Thomas, I discovered there is no fingermovement transfered unfortunately. I tried to add the finger bones in the but with no luck. Is it really that complicated to adjust or add something to the script?


    • thomasmakehuman skriver:

      It is correct that MakeWalk ignores fingers. The tool was developed with full-body mocap in mind, and such bvh files rarely involve fingers. Afterwards I have realized that there are quite a few bvh files that use fingers around, especially those which target Daz and Poser. In principle it is not difficult to add finger support to MW, but it would involve quite a bit of work to make it work, and it is not something that I have planned for the foreseeable future. Sorry about that.



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