What is an Animation Override?

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If you have spent any time in Second Life, one thing that you will notice is that the avatars walk funny. Many people describe it as a “duck walk”. It looks awkward and silly and most importantly it doesn’t look like someone walking.

So one of the first things that people want to do in Second Life is change their default walk. One way you can replace your default walk is by finding some boots with a walk replacer built in. Many shoes have this feature. One of the attachments that come with the shoe will contain an animation and script which plays that animation whenever your avatar is walking. This is a fine solution if all you want to do is replace your walk, but if you want to replace your other default animations like sitting, standing, flying and jumping? Then you will want to use an Animation Override.

An Animation Override (or AO) is a scripted object that you wear. You load it with animations and it uses those animations to replace your default ones automatically. So when you walk, sit or stand, it plays the animations you choose.

Setting up an AO usually is confusing to the first time user. In addition to putting animations inside, you usually need to edit a notecard within the object. Different AO scripts use different types of notecards. The three most common varieties of notecards are:

  • Franimation NotecardThe original Franimations AO script used in the wet ikon Animation Override. Click the image to the right to see an example of a blank notecard for the Franimation AO. You will see a series of labels for different animation states with blank lines underneath. Those blank lines would need to be filled in with the names of animations.
  • The ZHAO (short for Ziggy’s HUD Animation Override), a script based on the Franimations AO script, with some alterations. As the name implies, this was designed to be a script used in HUDs. The main engine from the Franimation script was used, and the notecard used to configure the ZHAO looks very similar. But there are some important differences. The biggest change was the addition of 5 choices for walks, sits and stands. The ZHAO script could still read notecards made for the Franimation AOs. This script was used in the HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe in the 1.0.x and 1.1.x versions.
  • ZHAO II NotecardThe ZHAO II script includes many improvements. One of the most important ones is a much more flexible and notecard style. One problem with notecards for the Franimation AO and the original ZHAO script is that it’s brittle. If a user adds or deletes a line of the notecard, it completely messes up the AO. Those scripts need information on the notecard to be on specific lines. Also, the structure of those notecards made it difficult to add more than 5 stands, a feature that many, many people have wanted. Notecards for the ZHAO II are much easier to setup. They are less brittle. If you add a blank line, the script ignores it. If you misspell an animation on the notecard, the AO will give you a warning, so you can change it. And if you try to load a notecard for a different type of AO than the ZHAO II, it lets you know. Previous AOs would load the faulty notecard and then just not work.

The HUDDLES EZ Animator Deluxe contains a customized version of the ZHAO II script (with permission from Ziggy). Earlier versions of the EZAD used the ZHAO I script.

If you are reading this page using the Google translator, please note that macro commands like [NAME] and [WHISPER] only work if use the English word in the brackets and not the translated word. Be sure to view the page in English to make sure you are using the correct command in your macros.

6 Responses to “What is an Animation Override?”

  1. Zena Tiki Says:

    Maybe I missed it but I believe you include the SWIM option – how is that used?

  2. Keiki Lemieux Says:

    Yes, there are spots on the notecard for swimming. I’m not sure how that works with an AO to be honest. I’ve never tested it.

  3. teddirez Escape Says:

    When you go under water and “fly” instead of your standard fly animations it uses the swim anims

  4. scribblywench Says:


    The default AO Female has 123 animations or so – I don’t want them! I just want to have the walk, sit, stand etc that I have bought.
    So I did a notecard that said

    *AW* Patience
    *AW* Honky Tonk
    *AW* Just Like a Lady

    (being the names of my animations)
    but no good.

    So then I tried
    [NAME]Stand1|*AW* Patience


    still no good
    I doesn’t recognise the first line.

    Have tried umpteen versions of the same thing, various combinations of spaces etc.
    I have had no problem at all loading dances.
    What am I doing wrong with the animations?

    any feedback would be MUCH appreciated (I have posted about this a few times, I will keep checking all posts)

  5. Sam Says:

    Help! how do i make my own zhao?

  6. Ferris Greymoon Says:

    Is there a way to AO the typing sound/animation in HUDDLES? I’ve seen various props that do that, but it would be nice to not have to go get and wear one of those.

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