What is an Animation Override?

If you have spent any time in Second Life, one of the first things 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.

One of the first things that people often want to do once they join Second Life is get a decent walk (right after getting a nice skin and a fabulous flexi-prim hair). One way you can replace your duck walk is by finding some boots with a walk replacer built in. 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, 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 need to alter the notecard contained within. The notecard has a series of labels with blank lines in between. The blank lines are for you to fill in with the names of the animations you want to use. Two things to keep in mind:

  1. The animation names must match what you put on the notecard EXACTLY, including spaces. The best way to insure this is to copy the name from the properties window (right click on the animation and choose properties, then copy the name by selecting it and hitting CNTL-C).
  2. You cannot add or remove lines from the notecard. Just fill in the blank lines with the animation you want to use. The script looks on particular lines for particular information. If you add or delete a line on the notecard the line numbers all shift and the script will be confused.

Once you have made changed to the notecard you need to load it. Refer to the manual which comes with the AO to find out how to do this.

The two most common ones are probably the Wet Ikon which contains the Franimations AO script developed by Francis Chung and the ZHAO by Ziggy Puff who adapted Francis’s script for the HUD. Both of these products are free. Go to Animation Warehouse to get a ZHAO or Reverie to get a Wet Ikon.

The EZ Animator Deluxe that I sell contains a customized version of the ZHAO script (with permission from Ziggy). It is important to realize that the AO portion of the EZAD is just one component of the device. If all you want is something to use for your walking animation and standing poses, I would try a ZHAO first. The EZ Animator Deluxe is more of a full featured animation device and I would hate for someone to spend 1499L, only to realize that the ZHAO would do perfectly fine for them instead.

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