KinectToPin FAQ and Installation Guide


This FAQ’s a bit out of date. Check out the new KinectToPin website for the latest version of the software and how to use it — it’s dramatically easier now.


It’s been pretty incredible seeing KinectToPin generate interest all over the world, but I’ve also had a lot of feedback about how difficult and frustrating it is to get it working. One of my big priorities right now is to find ways to make that easier. But in the meantime, here’s some additional helpful information:


Is this 3D/can I use it with Maya etc.?
– No, it isn’t 3D (although the Z data is recorded to the XML, and it is open source, so, uh, you can go wild and make something 3D out of it); if you want to use your Kinect with a 3D app try BreckelKinect (Windows only).

What hardware can I use?
– KinectToPin works with the standard Xbox Kinect, as well as the Xtion (a generic Kinect by Asus), although I’ve not gotten that running successfully on my own machine. Has not been tested with Kinect for Windows as far as I know.

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. 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.



The folks behind SimpleOpenNI have created some handy software bundles that will help get you up and running a lot faster. Go to this site and find your relevant link(s) in the “Downloads” menu on the lefthand side of the page. You’ll still need to download Processing separately, as well as KinectToPin itself. Follow the instructions in Part 2 of my tutorial series to get those configured.

In hopes of simplifying things a bit more, I’m also compiling a list of the different configurations people have managed to get working. If you’d like to add your setup, post in the comments using this format:

Capture Hardware:
OpenNI/NITE version (or bundle source):
SensorKinect version:
OSCeleton version:
Recording with simpleopenNI v. OSCeleton?
After Effects version:


Kinect MoCap Animation in After Effects

Tutorial links: Part 1: Getting Started | Part 2: Motion Capture with KinectToPin | Part 3: Building the Puppet Rigging Template | Part 4: Rigging a Digital Puppet

More info: A better way to control the puppet’s head | FAQ and Installation Guide

Project files: Click here to download the After Effects project (CS5+).

Quick note: the text is just transcripts of the videos, so you can read or watch as you prefer.