Blender Movie Maker: a tool for faster animation production!

(sorry about the cross posting)

Hi guys,

I’m a PhD student working on a research project that investigates how narrative English statements can be used to generate computer animation in pre-constructed virtual scenes.

Blender Movie Maker (BMM) is a collection of python scripts, a repository of free 3D models and a repository of free motion captured (BVH) files that I have written and collected during the course of my research. I believe they can be quite useful for the open source community and I would like to share it with all of you.

The collection of python scripts I’ve written use Blender to automate a set of common graphics operations including managing large collections of 3D models; performing rigid body transformation on mutli-component 3D objects; integrating motion captured animations with rigid body transformation; and IK based armature operations such as touching and pointing. I’ve written some python GUI code to provide an easy-to-use interface for performing all these operations and I believe they could help you speed up your animation process and save your time and effort.

I understand that Blender is already the most powerful open source CG platform on this planet, my work is not designed to replace Blender in anyway, it’s designed facilitate the users of Blender.

Blender Movie Maker can be accessed here. I’m looking forward to seeing your comments and feedback.

Thanks a lot.


Hi ,
THis is great effort, YOu must have published this work in CG journal.
We know Elephants dream and some other projects which turn into a movie.
Movie in blender will be a creation of good users,It will be a work of months.
While animating a charecter i always like to write a script that will set the poses for my
charecter and then action scripting for generating a good set of actions or desired animation.
your package will sure add a speed Ipo to the movie making in Blender.I am going to try it…

I notice that they are linux compressed files, will BMM work for windows users if I extract the files and then save them as a zip? Also the other programs you mention,pygtk etc. will these work in windows? I have Suse Linux on my notebook, which I am learning to use but Blender runs slow on it so I am still having to use windows.- Thanks for sharing! this seems a very exiting project you have created.

Well I have installed it, and following the notes tried both the virtualworldgui and the blend file as described in the notes, it fails on ‘import virtual world’ . I thought that the virtual world gui was for creating the virtual world? am I missing something?


Downloading it now.

I realize it’s in development right now, but for the final release you might want to think about a “one button” install … or as close to that as possible :slight_smile:


ronghester: BMM is part of my PhD research. so I will report the findings in my thesis and publish them on conference papers and journals if possible. Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it!

Roy: I’m afraid that I have not tested BMM on any windows machine at all, but the only really issue here is GTK and PyGTK. GTK is available for Win32 platforms, see this website for more information:

PyGTK is also available for for windows, see the follwoing webiste for installation information:

The tar.gz files are not an issue, because to use them, you have to unzip them first. The graphics library alone is about 453 MB, so I have to zip it. If you cannot find a win32 zipping tool that can unzip tar.gz format, I will rezip it in zip, but it will probably increase the size of the download. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you wish me to make this change.

Thanks a lot!!

WinRar will open .gz files.

Um … interesting, could verify the following two things for me please?

(1), VirtualWorldGUIControl.blend, and are all in the same directory?

(2) You have the “:.” directory in your PYTHONPATH variable, it’s probably “;.” in windows.

The problem with Blender is that it does not automatically look for scripts in the current directory. You have to make sure that by yourself.

The virtual world GUI is indeed for creating the scene.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have more problems.

Thanks a lot!

Thanks Mike! I realize that it would be super nice to have the proper distribution engineering, but at the moment I’m just swamped with other research work, I promise I will make everything nice when I have the time – say in 6 months.


thanks. I went to your page and there is downloading for tar.gz
I thnk tar is Linux/Unix format. I am using WinXP, can you please guide me to get the files
in winzip format.

I think Mike has mentioned that WinRAR can unzip tar.gz files. If you still have trouble, give me a shout and I will convert everything to .zip format.

Thanks a lot.


Ok guys, I’ve changed everything to zip format.

Hmm I thought I had posted my comment and was wondering where it went, now I see you have two threads going with the same title in two different forums … umm a bit confusing, this thread seems to be the more “meaty” one … it would be good if one of the mods would point the other thread to this one and close the other thread.


Could anybody tell me, idiot fashion, what exactly should be in my environment variables for the path ect. All other python scripts I have have been ok. I tried adding the semicolon, and I have re installed python 2.5 still get the error on console ‘no module named nltk’ and red highlight on ‘import virtual world’ in the script. - Thanks.

I get the same message
I assume it’s looking for NTLK :

…Which I don’t see listed on the site as one of the dependanices :slight_smile:

AFAIK python 2.5 is not going to work with Blender … 2.44 will.


Oh!! I’m really sorry, you need to comment out the following line in

import nltk

You just need to append a # in front of that line.

I’m terribly sorry about this. I’ve updated the scripts zip file and you can download it again if you wish.

It’s not the semicolon that you need, it’s the . that you need, the semi colon is just a separator for different paths. The . directory means the “current directory”.

Sorry about the confusion.


I’m really sorry about this, I will now post a comment on that thread to close it down.

I get the same message
I assume it’s looking for NTLK :

Again, I’m really really sorry. For this release of BMM, you don’t actually need NLTK. It won’t work with the current version of NLTK anyway. My supervisor maintains NLTK and it’s been one of the least stable SDK I’ve ever used. (I hope he won’t read this page.) You can either just comment it out or download version 1.01 to fix it.

I’ve also added a demo page that for now has a short animation rendered using BMM, I will continue to add demos in the next a few days. The demo page can be accessed here:

Thanks a lot!


In case that wasn’t clear, I know you mean the {period} symbol… the key between the comma and backslash key … the thing we put on the end of sentences :evilgrin:

Rather than messing with the path, if the entire “BMM” directory is put under (made a subdirectory) of the ./blender/scripts folder, shouldn’t the scripts be found? I know this is a somewhat basic Python/Blender setup question, but I’m being lazy here :wink:

Making the current directory part of the search path, is a bit “wobbly” IMO, if the libraries can be in the standard Blender paths it would be much better. I guess all the scripts could be just copied into the scripts directory, but I’d like to keep them in their own subdirectory if possible.

Alternatively, I think a good idea would be to rename your scripts with a BMM_ prefix or something like that.


Yes, you are absolutely right here, I’ve been thinking about the same thing on the way home, I will have a quick look at how other people have distributed their scripts under the Script window of blender and see if I can do the same.

Please stay tuned. Also, please be warned that the demo page contains very large gif files – as in, in the order of dozens of MB.

Thanks a lot!


Right, well now I am getting ‘no module named pygtk’ yet I installed that from the dependecies list! Any ideas?