How to connect Xsens to Vizard via Motionbuilder

September 16, 2020

Sado Rabaudi

Using Xsens’ full-body capture system and Vizard’s virtual reality creation and collaboration software, users can gain realistic and immersive avatar interaction in real-time or create dynamic animations using Xsens’ precise motion capture. In this tutorial, learn how you can control avatars in real-time with Xsens tracking in Vizard using the MotionBuilder workflow. For more details on connecting Vizard to MotionBuilder, see last month’s TechTip on the Live Characters workflow. 

In order to get this workflow going please first install the latest compatible versions of MVN Animate, MotionBuilder, and Vizard as well as the MVN Animate MotionBuilder plugin and the Vizard Live Characters plugin. For more information on which versions are compatible, please send an email to (current versions as of the time of making this tutorial are  MVN 2020.0.1, Vizard 6.3 , MotionBuilder 2018, Live Characters 2.13 and the Xsens MotionBuilder 2018 plugin. These versions could be different in the future as support is updated.

For help on installing the Live Characters plugin see the August Techtip on Live Characters

Setting up MVN Animate to stream to MotionBuilder

Open MVN Animate, and set up either a live avatar or load a recorded file 

Under Options choose Network Streamer (keep at if running MotionBuilder on the same machine, if running MotionBuilder on a separate machine, put the IP address of the machine running MotionBuilder) and choose “Position + Orientation (Euler). 

Configuring MotionBuilder 

Install both the Vizard Live Characters plugin and the Xsens MotionBuilder plugin. 

In MotionBuilder under Templates - MVN - Drag in MVN Live 1-4 actors to the work window and choose “no animation”. Note: You will need to have first installed the Xsens MotionBuilder plugin for this to show up under templates. 

On the Navigator tab go to - IO Devices - MVN Live Plugin, double click to open panel and Click “Online”. 

The next step is to drag in the Live Characters character (choose FBX Merge - “no animation” when dragging in). If you don’t see Live Characters, make sure you have added and set up that plugin. If you don’t see the Live Characters folder you need to add a favorite path by right-clicking in the Asset Browser window in MotionBuilder and select “Add favorite path” and navigating to the Live Characters folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\WorldViz\LiveCharacters). 

Select the character in the navigator under Characters - Male (if using the “male” live character). Double-click and change the character input to “Character” (in the “Character Settings” tab)”.

And then select active:


Drag the Live Character plug-in into the viewer (under Template - Devices). 

In the navigator under i/o Devices, select “Live Characters and then select the fbx character added to the scene (in this case male).

Enable online by clicking on the box next to “Online”:


In the top right under “Character Controls” change the character to Live Characters (male) and change “source” to “C1 MVN Character”.

Now your Live Character should play the MVN animation if you press play in MVN Animate or your actor moves if using live tracking. 

Lastly, run the following script in Vizard to allow the Xsens to control your Vizard character. Note that MotionBuilder needs to be in focus for this to playback. 

Watch a video version of this tutorial:

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