Public release Brekel Kinect 3D Scanner and MotionBuilder plugin

Well, I finally had an afternoon to polish things up, so here it is.
See the menu on the right for details and downloads.

Have fun

Sunday, January 9th, 2011 Kinect

45 Comments to Public release Brekel Kinect 3D Scanner and MotionBuilder plugin

  • I am me says:

    thanks for the awesome tool, but it says my hardware does not support OpenGL 1.5. … Luckily im using a secondary computer and the one i always use is in the shop because the sodder on the power jack was messed up.. So i think i’ll have the grahics card upgraded while it’s there… Sorry for getting a bit off topic, but for some reason or another, only openni’s —unstable— stuff works on any of my computers… Is that ok???

    Thanks, and sorry for the choppy sentences…

    • brekel says:

      I did some tests with unstable and I think it should be fine.
      It’s just that I had a few more troubles getting the installation procedure right on unstable. That’s the only reason why I describe the stable version in my install instructions.

  • Didgest says:

    any idea how to use the motor in the kinect to pan the camera? i have no idea

    • brekel says:

      Unfortunately it’s not supported by the OpenNI drivers.
      You can either force it manually (I won’t recommend it), or build a little tripod mount so you can point it anywhere you like.

    • Kieran says:

      If you download Ipi recored you can move the moter there.

      • brekel says:

        Motor&Led are supported in Brekel Kinect as well 🙂

        Furthermore my app works in realtime and has tools for pointclouds, iPi on the other hand offers better quality if you’re willing to offline process.

  • nicolas griffo says:

    iam from argentina and i need Brekel Kinect 3D Scanner and MotionBuilder plugin because i want to try sorry for my english
    and you are de best

    thanks for all

  • Anclib says:

    This is freakin awesome, one of the coolest things I’ve seen, I’m a softimage and nuke user and will be trying this out as soon as I get a Kinect.

    Thanks for sharing your brain data

  • Carolina says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! It works really good! And so easy to setup! Thank you!

  • Jocken75 says:

    A great big thanks to Brekel for his program and help. Now we poor 3d geeks can make own MoCap. Keep up the good work.

    you can see my own test

  • Sebastian says:

    Hi, and thanks for making this available – it’s great.

    I do however have an issue where the 3dscanner.exe crashes on one of my pc’s (Win7 32-bit).
    It does work when the kinect is not plugged in (well not like works but you know – doesn’t crash!)

    Console states nothing! no error messages.
    Its connected directly to the pc – and im running the versions of OpenNI/NITE that where specified in the install instructions! (OpenNI & NITE examples work too)

    Any ideas?

    • brekel says:

      Hi Sebastian,

      Are you running v0.32 of my app? v0.31 was known to crash a lot more.
      Also maybe check you’ve got recent graphics card drivers.

  • e1 says:

    getting some good results but accidentally closed the bottom part of the kinect base application. I can’t seem to reopen it and only have access to the point cloud settings

    thanks for your help

    • brekel says:

      Oooh wow I didn’t even realize you could close that, well done 🙂
      I’ll look into that for a next version.

      There may be a way to bring it back with Right Mouse Button somewhere on the gray area of the main window, or the titlebar.

      Good chance it’ll also reappear when you re-install the base app.
      For sure you can get it back by wiping the settings from your registry, it’ll gp back to defaults on the next start then.

      run “regedit.exe”
      browse to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” > “Software” > “Brekel” and delete the “Kinect3DScanner” folder

      Hope that helps,

      • Iwan Peter Scheer says:

        thanks for looking into this
        there is indeed a small menu item when you right click on the file menu bar. it brings back the bottom window and if you doubleclick on that everything is back to normal.

        the only thing is that when you start up the base app after making those changes you’re back to square one.
        a bit frustrating but not a showstopper.


  • evp_uk says:

    sorry to say 3dscanner.exe been crashing often today under 2009&2011.. still seems a little unstable.. I really want to use this for live show.. hope it solidifies a little 😉 cheers mate 😉

    • brekel says:

      Can you be a bit more specific on the crashes? Is it on a specific action? Is it always the same thing?
      If I can reproduce it I can try to figure out how to fix it.

      • brekel says:

        Ooooh and please check out the latest bugfix releases, especially the FBX save/load problem and a fix for NITE-related crashes may interest you.

  • RF says:

    Awesome! Thanks for releasing this. Really appreciate it.
    Managed to get some good results into 3dsMax today. Still needs work but not bad considering.

    Is there any way of capturing the colour video as a Quicktime or Avi at the same time? Would really help when manually adding in head, hand and foot rotations etc…


    • brekel says:

      That youtube movie looks pretty good, well done!

      Good idea about movie record, I’ll look into that for an upcoming version as I do have code somewhere for writing AVI’s already.

      • RF says:


        Been working on cleaning up the feet. Have posted update here:

        Here’s my workflow for anyone who is interested…

        Didn’t map in realtime to the Biped skeleton as found the results were a bit jerky and didn’t match up very well to the Kinect skeleton.

        Couldn’t get the T-pose for the Kinect skeleton perfectly straight so aligned an actor to it in Motionbuilder. (Not sure if this is just creating more work for myself but it did seem to produce better results).

        Merged a Biped skeleton FBX file into the scene and then used the actor animation to control the Biped. Set feet to constrain to the ground plane and set shoulder reduction to 100%

        Plotted animation to the rig to clean up Fcurves using the Butterworth filter then plotted to skeleton before importing the file back into 3dsMax onto the Biped.

        Back in 3dsMax have just used layers and IK keys to clean up the motion a bit.

        Very quick process even factoring in a bit of cleanup work.

        P.S. Currently using an iphone balanced on the Kinect for video ref 🙂 but avi recording direct from the Kinect camera would be great!

  • Dan says:

    Thanks for releasing this! I was able to get it up and running without too much trouble, though I had to extract the EXE and manually locate the MoBu 2011 plug-in DLL. I can’t wait to see where you take this.

  • alex says:

    So I tried to install it on my other machine, which is running all of the open ni samples fine and I get the message “Error initialising user production node: cant create any node of the requested type!”

    any suggestions?

    cheers mate!


    • brekel says:

      It seems it has trouble creating a “user” node, which is for the skeleton tracking.
      Could it be that you forgot to install NITE by any chance?

  • Nathan says:

    Hey, I was messing with this and it works pretty well. But i have a question, The bone structure. The BVH file outputs seems to be different from anything that i try to use it with. Is there a way to use a different rig or am i just not doing something right? I’ve tried to import the BVH into a Biped in 3ds Max 2011 but the bone structure is way different. Think you could point me in the right direction?

    • brekel says:

      The bone structure at the moment is named so it works with the MoBu naming scheme, and the hierarchy is what OpenNI/NITE delivers.

      I know that Biped only supports a very specific BVH format, naming and hierarchy has to be exact otherwise it refuses.

      I’m looking into capturing straight to a BVH (if possible Biped compatible) in the future, but that’ll take a while to implement.

      What you can do is create a Biped compatible skeleton in MoBu, retarget to that and then export it to BVH, but I’m not a MAX user.

  • evp_uk says:

    Wow.. you absolutley rock!! thanks so much for sharing this..;))

    I got up and running no problems.. I have noticed a few things tho.. If I try to save a motionbuilder file containing the brekel device with a skeleton live then when I re-load it goes crazy.. makes it tricky to save it ‘ready’ with the kinect connected to a character in a scene file..

    Also I found you can set the t-pose from recorded data and then hook it up to the character and then make it live again (if your by yourself) 🙂

    It seems to be throttling a little from time to time which results in the character dissapearing and re-appearing occasionally, I disabled the point cloud and colour and it helped the cpu a little, maybe a version with only the openNI window might be lighter?

    I intend to use this live in the projections at a psychedelic trance record label party in london this weekend, so will try to film or document it for you!

    Thanks again so much for this, its really ground breaking stuff :))


    • evp_uk says:

      Also it gets stuck if you go out and then it starts looking for user 2, maybe a switch to limit it to 1 user 😉

      • brekel says:

        Thanks Alex,
        I’ll look into these for an upcoming version.

        • evp_uk says:

          great.. hey I was using it with a good frame rate under 2011 for hours, and then i restarted pc at some point as it crashed and windows did an update and now its making MB run really slow (around 5fps), but only when I hook it to the character, up to that point everything is ok.. I tried a full restart a few times and no change.. any suggestions?

          • brekel says:

            Any chance you can try 2010?
            We’ve had some weird stuff happen with 2011 at work. Otherwise maybe rollback the last few windows updates?

          • evp_uk says:


            you will be pleased to know it seems to be working fine again on my 1st machine.. strange, but cool ;).. I will try 2010 tommorrow..

          • evp_uk says:

            also it seems to be picking up the different users ok as well, (when I leave and come back in) so I must have been wrong about that..;))

            this is great work brekel..

            well done :))

          • brekel says:

            The OpenNI/NITE stuff is also still at an alpha stage, sometimes I had to unplug/replug the Kinect powersupply for a few seconds when it wouldn’t want to start up which usually helped/

            I’ve also seen the occasional crash when users enter, and unfortunately the SDK is a bit lacking in user managment for now. Not sure if it’s some threading issues on my side or something else.

  • Michael says:

    First off thank you for this. We are having problems though installing the Motion Builder plugin. Everything else installed and worked fine, but when we get to the installation for the plugin we can’t select any version. All that is selectable is “Uninstall.” Is it because we have it installed on another drive other than C?

    Any and all help would be much appreciated. Again, thank you!


    • brekel says:

      Yep, the MoBu installer only looks in the default installation paths on your C drive unfortunately.

      As a quick fix I’ll post a version without the installer. All you have to do then is copy the dll files for your MoBu version into your install paths.

  • Iwan Peter Scheer says:

    This is really generous of you to share your time and knowledge in making this plugin available for everyone. It is what mocap for the masses is all about !

    Thanks again

  • Sweet, thanks for releasing it. I tried it out quickly last night and thanks to your install notes and instructions, I was up and using it in 10 minutes.
    I will defiantly update you when I have something to show.

  • bradi says:

    I try it tonight ….

  • nick says:

    Eventhough I don’t own a Kinect Device, thumbsUp! It’s a great plugin and it will make the life easier for many indies! So thanks. You could add a donate button somewhere in your site 😉


  • Thomas Goddard says:

    Solid! Thanks again!!!

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