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Tinkers Flying Lesson

This video shows avatars for Opensim made into a tiny movie. These are all Opensim-compatible avatars and animations. You can do this too, as the software I used to make this is free, and all the mesh models are included in the Blender file for you to make your own video.



I've been working on Tinker for some time. She now has a better set of buck teeth, along with some freckles on her face and skin.  The shoes were rebuilt again to look like Tinkers 'real' shoes.

Click for a HDTV hi-rez image.



Her motion is a rebuilt BVH of 'Cast magic two-hands' from Mixamo.   She has two extra bones to make her wings flap.  It's pretty easy to repurpose the animations to a SL armature, but there are some tricks to it.  Here is a recent article on how to make foreign BVH files work in Second Life and Opensim.  I also have a long list of open-source animations in this download area.    I decided to practice the Mixamo animation port on her, but by the time I was done, it would have been easier to just make a animation from scratch.

The Video and the Render Farm

The video is actually is only 3 seconds long, with 91 frames played at 30 fps, in HDTV 1080P size, then looped several times into Movie Maker. It took me about 6 minutes to render one frame (1/30th a second) on an Intel I-7 quad-core Alienware. It really hits the CPU very hard. It would have taken me about 9 hours.   So I used a free render farm to speed it up.   It took just 21 minutes to render all 91 frames on Sheep-it, the free render farm. A render farm sends a different frame to many different computers, and rendering is done in parallel. The first time I tried, it, someone turned off their machine while it was rendering frame 9. That  frame got stuck for about 2 hours before the farm realized it had a problem and someone else rendered it. The rest of the files finished in 16 minutes, as can be seen by this first graph of the results.    

Sheep It Render Farm glitch

The nice thing about using a render farm is my laptop was still available to work with. I got busy adding another dragon, then uploaded and ran a second Blender file, and both renders finished at almost the same time. The lovely thing about this render farm is your machine is still there, ready to do work, while hundreds of others do your work, for free. The second try finished right after the first, in 21 minutes.  It would have taken 4 hours otherwise and bogged my laptop the entire time.

Sheep-it render farm test run

The site then sends you a zip file with every frame in it. I used Photoshop to make a Quicktime movie, which preserves the HDTV size and formatting. You just File->open the first image, and check the box where it says "Image Sequence".

 Photoshop Import

 From there you just export the video to Quicktime to get HDTV.

Export Video using Photoshop

Post Processing

Window Movie Maker was used to add sound, the wave files and text. Then the video was exported to Highest Resolution. You can get it free at

Text to Speech

The speech is "Crystal", a text-to-speech voice engine I wrote years ago for the Outworldz server. It makes SL & Opensim compatible 44Khz wav files from typed- in words. You can use it, too, at Amazingly, my old Visual Basic 6 code from almost ten years ago still runs even after my last upgrade to Windows 10.

Yo Frankie

The bird and mesh flowers are CC-BY I used them as NPC's in the Outworldz, too. They were extracted and ported from their free YoFrankie game from A cleaned up, Sl & Opensim-compatible set of Blender and DAE files is at


The little 4-legged dragon is from Mixamo (, which sadly no longer offers them. But I have hoarded all four of them and their gold coins, so he and his friends will soon be learning to fly in the Phaze-Dragon sim at

Aras Tale

The blue dragon is a port of Ara's dragon from "Aras Tale", a lovely video by Martin Lubich. It was was created in his spare time over the course of 3 years. It's  at

My Little Pony

The background is a My Little Pony work of art by Canterlot. For those who have read this far and want to poke fun at an old man (me) for using it, the file is at:


Music was from Yo Frankie. I have the sound effects from the game at

The files

Want to try your hand at it? The Blender file is available for download, but you have to agree to credit the people who made the models in anything you use with it.

Aras Tale,by by Martin Lubich - CC-BY
Mixamo, by Adobe
Tinker, by Ferd (CC-NC)

105 MB Download

Load the file in Blender, and press F12 to see the render.

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