4.18. bvh — Reading Biovision Hierarchical (BVH) motion capture files

This module contains the BVHReader class which can be used as a base class for reading Biovision Hierarchical (BVH) files. The class reads the file and invokes callback methods with the corresponding data in the file. Derived classes have to implement those callback methods and process the data as appropriate.

class cgkit.bvh.BVHReader(filename)

filename is the name of the BVH file that should be read.


Read the entire file.


This method is called after the joint hierarchy was read. The entire hierarchy is passed in the argument root which is a Node object.

BVHReader.onMotion(frames, dt)

This method is called when the motion data begins. frames is the number of motion samples that follow and dt is the time interval that corresponds to one frame.


This method is called for each motion sample (frame) in the file. values is a list of floats that contains the position and angles of the entire skeleton. The order is the same than when traversing the joint hierarchy in a depth-first manner.

4.18.1. Node objects

The onHierarchy() method of the BVHReader class takes the joint hierarchy of the skeleton as input. Each node in this hierarchy is represented by a Node object that contains all information stored in the BVH file.

class cgkit.bvh.Node

A Node object represents one joint in the hierarchy.


This is the name of the joint (or the root).


This is a list of channel names that are associated with this joint. This list determines how many values are stored in the motion section and how they are to be interpreted. Each channel name can be one of Xposition, Yposition, Zposition, Xrotation, Yrotation, Zrotation.


This is a 3-tuple of floats containing the offset position of this joint relative to the parent joint.


This is a list of children joints (which are again described by Node objects).


Returns True if the node is the root node.


Returns True if the node is a leaf.