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Breaking Motion Capture Out of the Studio 39

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the in-disney-land-actor-captures-motion dept.
Fnord666 writes with a CMU press release. From the article: "Traditional motion capture techniques use cameras to meticulously record the movements of actors inside studios, enabling those movements to be translated into digital models. But by turning the cameras around — mounting almost two dozen, outward-facing cameras on the actors themselves — scientists at Disney Research Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University have shown that motion capture can occur almost anywhere — in natural environments, over large areas, and outdoors."
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Breaking Motion Capture Out of the Studio

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  • I have the xbox kinect and I would think it would be a great tool for this. From what i understand many of our nerds brethren have a disassembled kinect's and retooled and programmed them with all kinds of funcky capabilities.
    • The problem with Kinect is the limited minimum range (50-80cm) at which depth information can be extracted; while visual systems are affordable and in the price range of researchers to study, in the long term electromyography probably will be the long term technology of choice.

      • in the long term electromyography probably will be the long term technology of choice.

        I'm sorry, but do you have a license from the Department of Redundancy Department? I'm going to have to see some documentation.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In Soviet Russia, motion captures you!

  • This sounds obvious, but when you look at it like many things these day it is a matter of compute power, particularly having enough at a reasonable price to make it practical.

    • Actually the software that figures stuff out is remarkably complex. I wonder how long until someone makes a game where you wear VR Goggles and carry a nerf sword, and you're out in a field killing orcs by swinging the nerf sword around.
      • Actually the software that figures stuff out is remarkably complex. I wonder how long until someone makes a game where you wear VR Goggles and carry a nerf sword, and you're out in a field killing orcs by swinging the nerf sword around.

        And how long after that until there is an uptick in arrests for bizarre, aggressive behavior in usually introverted males?

      • by nomel (244635)

        Well, it's mathematically complex, but not really complex in a code size or if-then count sort of way.

        Here are two videos (1 [youtube.com], 2 [youtube.com]) from 2007 showing the jist of it (including some games that modify reality) done in *realtime* using a laptop GPU card.

        It's basically...find a bunch of "features" in a scene (corners in some texture, circles, etc), then look at how these features move in the scene as the camera moves. Each feature is in a fixed point in space, so, their movements are caused by the camera moving. U

  • Is it possible to get the same result using a series of motion sensors (like the Nintendo Wii uses)? If not, then what is the cheapest/easiest way to capture real-life movement (and apply it to 3D models, for example)?
  • by luckymutt (996573) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @04:16PM (#37036696)
    Interesting approach. I would have loved to have seen the presentation, but also today at SIGGRAPH, Autodesk had a presentation by Kevin Wittkopf [autodesk.com] and Geoff Richardson [autodesk.com] showing off using the Kinect in production with Maya. Why bother with a suit and a bunch of cameras when Kinect rigs and only going to be getting better (and waaaayyy cheaper) Autodesk is streaming their presentations [autodesk.com] from the exhibit hall. I'm not sure if they are going to do that prese again tomorrow or Thursday, though. (please don't everyone check it out at the same time...I'm trying to watch it)
    • by luckymutt (996573)
      hell, it looks like they are giving it again right now. (they've been way off of their schedule all day today)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      because the kinect won't work outside or in large areas.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @04:25PM (#37036786) Homepage

    So how long before the inevitable application of "Rule 34" to this?

    Let's face it, the porn industry has been a leader in adopting technologies for some time now.

  • Blender Tomato Branch

    http://www.vimeo.com/26420002 [vimeo.com]

    Latest build
    http://graphicall.org/?keywords=tomato [graphicall.org]

    You can find the devs on #blendercoders @ freenode.

  • Sounds like we are mixing two problems and the video shows a problem that seems to me not necessary in solving. I'm no expert or even n00b on the subject but I never really understood why you would need a camera and florescent dots on a person to record motion. Why can't you just have sensors that measure the movement like my phone, and you could do this anywhere. The video recording of dots seems like the old school poor mans way of recording points and thereby recording motion. Now if you want a three
  • You can look at the video here [disneyresearch.com].

    The motion-capture of the guy swinging from the monkey-bars looks somewhat realistic until you realize that his hands are swinging around in the rendering when they should be (and are) stationary on the actor.

    Should be interesting when the technology matures, though.
  • The accuracy on this is pretty bad, as you can see from the comparison to the Vicon system, so this has very limited use in production, and it seems like it's trying to solve a non-existent problem. It doesn't get rid of the cumbersome suit from motion capture, so you can't really get capture data while performing in front of a camera, and there are already solutions [ipisoft.com] on the market that allow you to create a motion capture setup outside using regular cameras and get motion capture data without any tracking m

    • by iceaxe (18903)

      The accuracy on this is pretty bad, as you can see from the comparison to the Vicon system, so this has very limited use in production

      This is a step along the way toward something useful in production, not a final product.

      [...]the practical application for something like that is limited. Attaching cameras and trying to create tracks off of the movement of the background just seems a really backwards way of doing this kind of stuff.

      The application is in capturing motion in circumstances where the current way of doing things does not work well. Larger ranges and areas, confined spaces where cameras would be obstructed, that sort of thing. It doesn't replace current techniques, most likely. Instead, it adds new options - once it's accurate enough. Time will tell.

  • I can remember they did something similar for Gollum in the Lord of the Rings. For the last scene they filmed for the Return of the King they didn't have the time to capture Andy Serkis after filming so they stuck him in the mocap suit and captured him during the filming of Elija Wood and Sean Astin. This saved a load of time in postproduction, and due to the interaction Andy Serkis had to be there anyway.

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