Autodesk MotionBuilder

MotionBuilder Tutorial

Shadow provides support to preview, record, and import motion capture directly from Autodesk® MotionBuilder® 3D character animation software. MotionBuilder users can easily integrate Shadow directly into their character animation work flow.

This tutorial outlines the MotionBuilder tools and plug-in included with every Shadow motion capture system. We support the last four years of MotionBuilder releases.

1) Copy the Shadow plugin into the MotionBuilder installation folder.

There are different Shadow plugins for each MotionBuilder release year. Our software installer will copy the correct plugin into your MotionBuilder folder.

If you need to install the plugin manually, copy the Shadow plugin into your MotionBuilder installation. For example, for MotionBuilder 2019 copy the following file.

From: C:\Program Files\Motion\mobu\plugins\Shadow-2019.dll
Into: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\MotionBuilder 2019\bin\x64\plugins

2) Drop the Shadow device into the scene from the Asset Browser.

To live stream Shadow animation create a MotionBuilder Device. The list of available mocap devices is available in the Asset Browser.

Find the device named Shadow and drop its icon into the scene. If the Shadow device is not in the list then make sure that our plugin is installed as shown in Step 1.

3) Create the skeleton and bind it to our Shadow device.

After creating the Shadow device you should see its settings in the Navigator window. If not, you can always select the device in the scene to show the settings.

In the Shadow device settings, open the Model binding drop down and choose the command Create. This command will read the current skeleton configuration from the Shadow software and make a copy of it in the MotionBuilder scene.

You are now ready to live stream Shadow animation!

4) Click the red Online box to start streaming Shadow animation.

Click the red Online box in the Shadow device settings. The device will start streaming animation on the skeleton and the Online box will turn to green.

You can check and uncheck the Live box to stop animating the skeleton. The Record check box is not supported by the Shadow device. To record animation, use the Start Take and Stop Take buttons instead.

5) Shadow device controls.

The Shadow device includes a control panel for performer set up and recording. Using the controls, you can preview and record Shadow motion capture animation using only MotionBuilder.


Motion Workshop is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network.

Autodesk and MotionBuilder are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and other countries. Motion Workshop is not affiliated with, endorsed by, sponsored by, or supported by Autodesk, Inc., and/or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries.