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Carnegie Mellon Motion Captures Revisited


motion-captureWe reported on the Carnegie Mellon University's motion capture library before. Back then you needed to manually convert the files to the .bvh file format to import them into Blender. Jennifer Sumbu Longe has republished the entire collection and did the conversion for you.

Jennifer Sumbu Longe wrote:

I am the owner/admin/webmaster of THE TRAILERS' PARK and I just wanted to give you some news which I think your readers might be interested in: I have converted the Carnegie Mellon University Library (2548) and Kitchen Motion (5) in six formats: bvh, dae, fbx, mb, max and vns (iCLone); and Mocap Club Files (500) in five formats bvh, dae, fbx, mb and max. I believe Blender can read bvh, dae and fbx.

I hope that the community will be pleased.

The data isn't organised too well so you'll have to do some downloading to find what you need.


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. HI!

    The website does not work with Chrome, check the FAQ. But it should work with other browser. I have tried opening it with IE, Firefox and Opera on different computers and it always worked fine. Even the guy at CMU told me that the website displays at the top right. I don't know why with some it works just fine and others not. About errors, that only happens sometimes if I'm working in the back end due to lack of memory. Maybe the ip blocker is considering your ip as being suspicious, not sure. But I just went to the Contact Page and it opened. I think I'll have to hire an expert to try and solve this issue. About adding gif animation, I definitely have that in mind. I'll take care of it after I finish converting the files from then the MCS files in VNS.
    I will upload the CMU mocap list to help with finding files. The files haven't been posted for more than a week so please, try to bear.


  2. This is great! But it would be cool to have them all zipped into a single file instead of having to get lots of smaller individual files. Takes a lot of time to grab them this way.


  3. Thank you very much Jennifer Sumbu and Bart. Very usefull.

    Playing with .bvh file "Human_Bike_DW_3.bvh" now inside 2.49b right now.

  4. As the author of the C3D Import script, I'd like to point out that Blender can import the c3d mocap format directly, and that I used that library extensively when developing and testing the scripts. For the CMU mocap sessions saved in c3d format, no conversion is necessary as Blender can import it directly. In addition, my scripts build an armature to match the actor and you can generate a pose library and action segments from the data. See my website,, tutorials->animation for videos, and for the written tutorials on how to import and effectively use mocap data.

  5. PSmurf,

    I tried your importer, and it's super cool, but there are things I don't understand. Like why the imported armature is so big I have to expand the view limits to see it, and what the empties are all about?

  6. deathguppie - best to read the tutorial at start to finish, where I take you through the whole process. The empties are the markers that were on the actor's suit. The markers are encoded that way for precision. You can select all of them and scale them down. The scale of MoCap data varies widely from, say, from CMU data sets, to those on the C3D site. My import script does auto-scale if the markers get outside 10k. You can change that "max" inside the script pretty easily.

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