Sunday, 18 December 2011

Motion Capture at Home

I recently stumbled across a youtube video showing markerless motion capture using the xbox Kinect:

The software is available to anyone (for a price), can run on a single computer and only requires one person to operate it. This particular piece of software doesn't strictly require an Xbox Kinect, the other options being simply a webcam or even a low end digital camera. The software itself processes the data captured and apparently makes animation easy and the technology accessible to the average animator. How about more motion capture again using the Kinect? Here is a facial performance, created by taking raw data from the camera:

It is very easy to label the Kinect almost as a child's toy, exploiting the gimmick of highly interactive gaming much like the Nintendo Wii. It's true, many of the Kinect releases emphasise this sense of interactivity with games filled with very drab mini games that involve jumping around and waving your arms. Despite this, perhaps the Kinect could become a useful tool for game designers and animators at home. The kinect uses infrared technology and an advanced microchip that detects moving objects in a 3D environment. It seems that with this technology, people are beginning to find ways of taking the data from the Kinect and creating moving three dimensional models. It will be interesting to see where independent animators or even the hobbyists will take this kind technology which not so long ago would only really have been seen in the professional industry.

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