Motion Capture (mocap) has been around for a while now. The goal of mocap is to collect motion data of certain points of interest on the subject. Data collected can then be used to drive motion or calculate specific parameters of motion ie. speed, distance (who can forget Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug?). As tech becomes smarter data captured significantly improves over time.
Motion capture's application is (and has always been) varied, ranging from biodynamics to driving CGI characters to mimic the motion captured. As humans, we can recognise a person by their movement: from their swagger to the way their head bobs, comparable to the innate way we recognise minute details in a face. Mocap has formed a bridge to capture an emotional human connection through movement in computer graphics.
Exploring and implementing these wonderful technologies enables us to continue pushing our boundaries as both a studio and the artists within, finding exciting new techniques to integrate into our workflow. Being at the fore of innovations in technology certainly contributes to challenging budgets, allowing us to explore and suggest different ways to approach a brief.
MoCap at FA
Emerging technologies enabled us to develop and offer this toolset within our productions in-house. Our play room 'Suite FA' gives us and our clients the capability of implementing organic motion to a whole host of animated projects; 2d, 3d and interactive alike. Suite FA takes advantage of a markerless system allowing our actors, (or clients, should they wish to take part!) perform in the attire they entered the building in. Markerless systems work by utilizing a multi camera tracking setup and intelligent software which calculates the subjects' movements quickly and accurately. It's a system which allows us to cost effectively use motion capture more quickly directly into our pipeline and your projects. (And there aren't many things more satisfying than seeing yourself charge around as the Incredible Hulk or a mass of energised liquid!)
We've spent the last 12 months researching and developing (R&D) the use of motion capture in videos. We've also explored some awesome procedural animation tools and techniques in creating the animated characters. Watch our Suite FA video here.
We want to broaden the application of using human motions and emotions behind just that of character animation. We have already integrated this facility into some projects with great success, eg. Dycem's marketing video on contamination control where we captured walk cycles through the cameras. Having this tool readily available allows for more choice creatively, saves time when budgets don’t stretch to a fully animated character and provides clients the option of a range of tools. We’ll continue demonstrating how powerful this tool can be in opening up new and interesting approaches to video production.