To run KinectToPin, you first need to download and install the correct OpenNI Kinect drivers for your OS. Driver bundles are available from either SimpleOpenNI (OSX/Win/Linux — find your relevant link(s) in the “Downloads” menu on the lefthand side of the page) or Brekel (Fully automatic, Win-only).

Note: If you’re running Windows, Microsoft may attempt to overwrite the OpenNI drivers with their own. Plug in your Kinect and check its Device Manager settings in the Control Panel to make sure that hasn’t happened, and change them back if it has.

Then, click here to download KinectToPin from GitHub. Unzip the app (no installation necessary, but keep it inside its folder structure), edit settings.txt to your liking, plug in your Kinect, and you’re ready to go!

To install the UI Panel add-on for After Effects, find KinectToPin UI.jsx in the program folder and drop it into AE’s Scripts/ScriptUI Panels/ folder. Relaunch After Effects, then select it from the Window menu to run.

If you want to run the uncompiled Processing sketch instead of the compiled app, you also need to download Processing, as well as SimpleOpenNI and/or OSCeleton.



What hardware can I use?
– KinectToPin works with the standard Xbox Kinect, as well as the Xtion, a generic Kinect by Asus. Note: if you’re using an Xtion with Windows and USB3, you’ll need this firmware update. Has not been tested with the Kinect for Windows as far as we know, but it should work anywhere OpenNI does.

Is this 3D/can I use it with Maya etc.?
– KinectToPin records tracking points in 3D, but is primarily designed for working with 2D and 2.5D puppets. If you want to use your Kinect with a 3D model try BreckelKinect (Windows only). K2P points are actually just raw XYZ position data; most 3D applications require the more complex BVH format, which is based on rotations from an original start pose.

How does this compare to a 2D IK rigging system like Duik?
– IK rigs like Duik (which, incidentally, is free and highly recommended) calculate the angle and position of your character’s limbs based on the position of the hand or foot, which gives you a much more rigid look, like a marionette. KinectToPin uses the Puppet Tool for deformation, which results in a much softer, squishier sort of motion. No reason you can’t use both!

Help! My character is upside-down and scrambled!
– We think we’ve fixed this problem, but if you run into it let us know! Here’s what’s going on if it happens to you: it means the mocap data imported backwards, so that the head data ends up where a foot should be and vice-versa. Try renaming the 3D Point Controls so they’re listed in the opposite order, then re-enable the expressions on the control nulls. It’s hacky, but it works.

Help! I recorded a really long track and I can’t get it converted from XML!
– If you have an xml file that is more than a couple of minutes long, KinectToPin may crash when you try to turn it into AE keyframes. Nick has an older converter-only tool for Processing called FlaePin that may work where KinectToPin fails.

Help! After Effects is giving me grayed-out puppet pins!
– This is a known bug with the Puppet Tool. If you’re not using a template, you need to create dummy pins for all fifteen points before you paste in your tracking data or you’ll get these weird unusable pins.

Help! Microsoft’s Kinect drivers keep installing themselves automatically and taking over for OpenNI!
– You can fix this in Device Manager. Follow David Menard’s instructions here.