Animation Dummy

October 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm (Utilities)

The animation dummy is a NifSkope tool I developed to import and test random animations upon a rigged article of clothing, etc. This saves time as a clothing/armor modder, as it allows me to skip hopping between blender, nifskope, and the game to test for clipping issues. This tool may be used with NifSkope and blender open to test for clipping issues at the same time. I have shared this tool with multiple people, and at the request of others have made it available.

Note: Yes there are various other ways of achieving the same thing, but they do not always work. Please do the research before you decide to make a snide comment about this utility. Already dealt with that and I’m not feeling so nice about that anymore…

Text instructions for use (PDF with pictures included in archive)

1. Open up the animation dummy (NKAnimationDummy.nif) with NifSkope

2. Select Render -> Draw Nodes

3. You should now see a stick figure skeleton. Position your viewing window to the angle and zoom of your choice. I recommend a straight forward view such as shown to the left.

4. Open up in an additional NifSkope window the mesh that you wish to preview the animation for. For example purposes I shall use my Westwind Rogue armor.

5. Now you will need to copy the outfit into the animation dummy. To do so do the following:

A) Select a NiTriStrip (nor NiTriShape, depending) either in the branch list or by clicking on the desired part in the render window. You will see both the TriStrip and the object become highlighted.

B) Right click and select Block -> Copy Branch

C) Switch NifSkope windows to view the Animation Dummy.

D) Select the main NiNode “Scene Root” by clicking on it in the branch list.

E) Right click and select Block -> Paste Branch
You will now see the selected TriStrip/Shape from the outfit on the skeleton in the render window.

F) Repeat the process until all the the desired pieces you wish to view on the animation dummy are copied over (I recommend testing all pieces. If so, both your open nifSkope windows should look identical in appearance in the render window. The drawn nodes may look different in several sections. This is okay, the animation will still look true to game when previewed. You should save the animation dummy with a new name at this point.

6. Now you can import animation to test the outfit in various poses.

A. Go to Spells -> Animation -> Attach .kf

B. Browse and select the animation you wish to import. For ease, several have been included. You may use any animation in any location of your choosing. You may find the original animations of Oblivion by extracting the bsa files and looking under meshes\characters\_male

C. In some versions of nifskope, an error box may pop up. Hit the red boxed in X in the upper right hand corner. This error will not affect playback.

D. Some animations will instantly begin to play. Some, such as running (walkfastforward) might move too fast to view. I recommend immediately hitting the pause/play button. From there you can move the slider to the right for a frame by frame view of the animation at your control.

E. To switch between multiple animations you will need to import each one. There is a drop box to the right of the animation slider. You may select which animation to switch between there.

Now you have finished importing your animation dummy. If any rigging adjustments need to be made, you may make them in blender and re-copy parts to test again. DO NOT IMPORT THE ANIMATION DUMMY INTO BLENDER!!!

You may delete and re-paste individual parts to the dummy, unless any significant switches to the skeleton or overall rigging have been made. Then I suggest starting fresh!


• Thanks to Bethesda for such a great game
• Thanks to the Nifskope Team for NifSkope
• Thanks to the Blender Team for Blender:


You may use this freely, I share it as a free tool. However, you may not modify it or distribute it without direct expressive permission.


1 Comment

  1. Violet said,

    Helpful ^_^ Thanks!

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