Jump to content

Tips and Tricks

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Contributors to this blog

[VIDEO] Don't know what an Animation Override is? You need to see this!

Torley Linden


Ever wonder why other avatars are striding so pretty while you march like a soldier-duck hybrid?

That's because they have animation overrides, scripted objects that replace your default animations with way cooler ones when worn.

All you usually need to do is right-click and Wear the AO in your inventory, then click an ON button (if it's not automatically activated).

Yes, they're that awesome.

In this friendly video, I show you exactly what animation overrides are and what they can do for your avatar's expression. This is an essential Second Life thing to know, because everyone comes across them sooner or later. (I've often been asked "Why is my avie not walking like yours in a video you made?")


Special thanks to Hellespont Hoorenbeek for reminding me I needed to do this, it's a great example of a "SHOW IT IN MOTION" question that deserves to vividly be answered.

What other essential product types should all Residents know about?


Recommended Comments

Excellent and much needed tutorial. Great for pointing newbies towards

What other essential product types should all Residents know about?

1. I'm tempted to say a flight assist because it is a really useful tool, although I guess it can also be used to gain access to places where one normally wouldn't have access!

2. How about pose stands? Very useful for editing clothing and attachments.

3. Or an emoter for cool facial expressions? (Although a lot of AOs do now come with facial emotes anyway).

(P.S. Great to see Lady Torley having an outing or two just lately! )

Link to comment

There is also the client side AO that is highly recommended.


-Does not take up sim script resources, so lower lag for you and everyone.
-Better performance, smaller delay times, no lsl event lag
-Unlimited memory.  Have over 9000 different stands without any problem.
-Extra attachment points now free
-Works and can change in no-script zones.



Link to comment

The new animation is in viewer 2. (Torley's avatar is using the new walk in the beginning of video).

(well 2.3 beta at least, I can't remember if it was in 2.2, 2.1, or 2.0... but it's in for me now.)

The new walk animation isn't "great" but it's way better.. and the "benny hill run" is also a LOT better now. I still wouldn't go without my AO for long.. but the default animations are a bit kinder on the noobs now.

Link to comment

Thank you Torley! I am a Newbie just starting my second month in Second Life and this video helps a lot, especially the tips on how to view AOs in the Marketplace. I love shopping at the Marketplace and I did not realize that some of these products had video demonstrations. Hope to see you In-World where I will be "STRIDING SO  PRETTY" thanks to you!

Link to comment

Thank you for the tutorial, but I am missing some basic information on how an AO can be created or how it works. After all, Second Life is about user created content and not just shopping.

Link to comment

It is also a good idea to get a free or basic AO that is modifiable. AOs can need alot of animation and getting a packaged AO, as your base, and building on top of that base, can save you alot of time.

Link to comment

Maybe you did not notice, but the walk and a number of other default animations were changed when Viewer 2 was released. This also created priority problems with walks, turns, and a number of other default animations that to this day have still not been fixed. If you can't carry your newbie torch and use your AO, then blame LL, not the animators.

Link to comment

Thanks Torley

I hate to rain on your parade (well, not really), but it's absolutely pathetic that the viewer does not have an animation picker built in.

All this wasted sim CPU using craptastic LSL to parse a dozen lists 10 times a second just to override an animation.

It is an insane way of doing things. Par for the lab.

Enjoy the lag.

That is all.

No, actually, your forums suck beyond belief too. And havok 7 bites.

K, I'm done.

Link to comment


This was made in 2007 and has 433 votes.

Several TPVs already include or are working on built in AOs. With all due respect instead of telling people how to perform a work around we should have the actual fix/addition/finished-feature that we've been asking for since the conception of custom animations. I understand that doing one is easier than doing the other but it's been 3 years.

It's like standing in the rain and having a galoches salesman give you a pair of socks and duct tape. Or being sold a toothbrush without bristles then being told you can get some wool and glue in aisle 7 to fix it yourself.* For three years.


* For simplicity sake both of these analogies ignore the fact that AO scripts have been argued to directly cause the very "lag" LL is continuously "fighting" (which is synonymous with the War On Drugs in rediculousness and propaganda).

Link to comment

For 1, you are making a totally broad statement that has exactly no basis in fact. Anything that is badly coded will cause lag. A well made AO script uses less resources than almost any gadget or particle hud. Claims of AOs causing lag are way over blown. Right now, I could fill my whole sim with people and give every1 my most resource intense AO, and it would still run like butter. My scriptor also has his main store on the sim. Can you imagine how many scripts he has on the sim? The sim will run fine as long as no1 is wearing some screwed up script from somewhere else. All it takes it 1 bad script to crash the whole sim. My sim will run fine because I don't have any bad scripts on it and I sure as heck don't have sculpties rezzed all over the place. This is not the same with people who do not write their own scripts and instead, buy everything they need. Some people just like to have a scapegoat.

Of course, I animate, so I'm sure that any1 can imagine that I'm not going to like a builtin AO. It is bad enough that I have to wait years and years to get crucial animation bugs fixed, and now you want me to animate using some limited creation that is not designed by an animator. I'm sorry, I kinda do this for a living and having a bunch of people who haven't thought twice about it make the system from which I have to animate from is not very appealing. Yes, I know LL is the 1 who created this awesome animation system, but I yet to see LL do anything to it in the last 3 years and I doubt the original creators are still around.

Plus, an AO is a character. Each character does alot more than just walk, run, stand, sit, and so on. There is so much more that animators can do to make each character as immersive as possible. Most of the builtin AO systems, that I have seen, don't even overide all the possible default animations. Right now, customers have an almost unlimited array of options. You are asking the lindens to create something that by my estimates, only 20% of the community even wants, and every1 else is still going to wear their AO, because they love it.

Link to comment

What's your problem with client-side AOs? The one in Phoenix can now override about all default animations seamlessly, and you could still sell animations plus accompanying notecard to customize the built-in AO. And while a good scripter can make an AO with relatively low sim impact, a client side AO is still better, becuase it uses exactly NO sim resources at all. And the less resources used, the better.

Did you take a poll over all of the people in SL to justify your 20% comment, by the way? I surely wasn't asked.

Link to comment

I don't have a problem with them at all, but stating that they are somehow better than AO scripts created by residents is just completely wrong. The Phoenix clientside AO does not overide all the possible default animations, as it is the same overider that was used in the Emerald viewer. That system uses the zhao II format, which also has it's limitations. What do I do if I want to change my jump in mid air? Plus, If I want to change how something works or the options a customer has, I can't. If there is a problem, I'm stuck waiting for LL to deal with it. Basically, from an animators stand point, I'm given a box from which my product needs to fit in.

In the end, it does not matter at all to me whether some1 uses a clientside AO or not. My goal is to give the best product that I can make for my customer, and that will not be affected at all by a clientside AO, because the customer will ultimately decide. I actually make more profits if customers buy animations individually, but that is not the best shopping experience for the average user. The average user wants to find a character that fits them, and just wear it and go.

As I stated, 20% is by my estimates. I talk to dozens of animation customers every single day, and the only place I ever hear anything about clientside AOs is here in these forums. Polls have been done in the past in various places, and they never got much attention. If you would like to start your own thread about clientside AOs, I'd be very happy to talk more about it. This blog though, I don't think was created for clientside AO discussions.

Link to comment
  • Lindens

@Ceera I seem to remember there was a change to the walk in Viewer 2.x, I couldn't find a source. As Winter sez. Still, to those of you going "It wasn't as far as an improvement as I hoped!", I, as someone who walks regularly, agrees.

@Suella All three are great examples, (3) is closely related to (1). "Torley Jr." (the female me) is feeling fiiiine for the wintertiiiime.

@Techwolf Yes, no conversation about AOs is complete without following up on out how some third-party viewers already have a viewer-side/client-side AO, and how this is one of those ideas floated around for YEARS that many wish would simply be in the official Viewer. More on that a bit later.

@Keli *yay hands*

@Stephan Creating an AO (from scratch?) is more advanced (thanks for the pointer, Urantia), and I openly welcome scripters with expertise in this area to share their knowledge. A number of popular AO scripts are open-source and available to examine, although I don't know which are the best-commented for learning purposes.

@Medhue Good points.

@Oz Hey you! I also remember our classic discussions wondering when LL would upgrade the Gestures editor. :o Thanks, as you originally influenced me, to always keep culture close at hand — those who forget the past, well, you know how it goes.

I hope introducing animation overrides to newer Residents will continue increasing awareness that some features that seem so long-in-the-tooth are STILL relevant and count for a lot today, and implementing them well would solve direct and peripheral usability issues. Avatar body language isn't just icing on the cake, it's fundamental to how you see yourself in this virtual world. If you walk like a powerless moron, you'll feel like a powerless moron (we don't want that).

Whenever the opportunity comes up at internal Linden meetings, I point to Resident feedback like this where you keep the flames alive about what continues to matter. After all, even though the only proverbial constant is change, you can still constantly remind us what of what should change.

Link to comment

Hello Torley, Its me! Hellespont how nice of you to mention my name in this totorial thank you so much it almost makes ma a moviestar. Anyways it seems you always make vids for noobs and not or less for the residents that are longer in SL then just a few days you know? Im online for over 3years my best times where in 2007/2008 from 2008 SL seems to go on a track most residents dont like with viewer 2 for example and displaynames option. So to be short please make a totorial about how to get the library out of the inventory LL says these items does not effect the count of the total amount of items in the inventory but they are so wrong the library counts 1400+ items withs most residents might like to get rid of so the AO reply on the vid was a joke but for some reason you toke it serieusly thats allright, but take this then serieusly also and be the first Linden that is offering help to residents.

(Friendly greetings is yours so i shall just add something els)

Mega kind greetings!

Hellespont Hoorenbeek.

Link to comment

it's interesting how people do attack ao's as scripts that impact the sim, and try to change them to be client side, There are so-so many things that could be done client side by LL,that could really be much easier and worth it than the client side AO. ( that I agree indeed ends up helping, but really not that much, I know I coded an AO from scratch, and did extensive research on how to optimize it the most so it would not impact any sim )

Anyhow I have always wondered why on earth we still need fight enhancers, is that not like a single integer that needs to be changed on the viewer code  ( official, not TPV ) , the limit has been 4096 meters for a long long time.

Or some radars that end up using sensor that are way worst than AO's  ?

Now at the end we have to think ( or at least I think ) that there has to be a commitment between our CPU cycles and the sim CPU cycles, lately I have been watching my development version of viewer 2.4 using 1.1gb of ram on my pc, either I'm on SL or I can't do almost anything else.

amyhow there always should be a balance between things.

and really based on some scripts that I have seen ( attachments ) that have placed a sim to it's knees I have to say that AO's  aint that bad ( most of them )


Link to comment
  • Create New...