Over the past couple weeks my Advanced Mo-cap and Rigging class has been spending our time in the motion capture studio that we have here on campus. I’ve always been a fan of motion capture and I’ve always wanted to learn how to do it so these past few weeks have been very fun for me. What is motion capture you ask? Motion capture is a way to record movement and animations that look and feel more organic. It is a replacement for what we call key frame animation. Key frame animation, when used on a 3D model is essentially clicking and dragging the limb and recording it. A set of key frames put together makes an animation. Below there is a picture of a bunch of frames.
These are a bunch of keys put in a line. When put together in times intervals it will look like this:
Now that you understand key framing, understand that sometimes this is not the most natural looking process. Motion Capture was created to get more natural movement when creating 3D animations or CGI. Watch the video below that someone made of a key framed fighter versed a motion captured fighter. If you look closely enough you will be able to tell that the key framed fighter seems a little unnatural and dry, whereas the motion captured fighter looks natural with a lot of personality to his movements. Both are well done but this is a great example of the difference between them.
Motion capture is becoming more and more the norm when it comes to creating animations for games. If we create a game that look so realistic we lose the feeling of it being realistic if we have the main character look and move unnaturally. Some great examples of well done motion capture is the Last of Us, Batman Arkham Origins, and The Rise of Tomb Raider. Even movies use amazing motion capture to capture the personality and essence of a character correctly.
Since UAT has a game art and animation degree, a generous individual donated to the school a motion capture studio. Since then, the students have been able to learn the whole process of motion capture from recording to the completed animation and application to model. My class required me to have 3 looping animations. I choose to do one idle and 2 different translation animations. I have to say that this is one of my favorite classes because it is so much fun to be working with a group of people who have the same goal. Below is a recording from the class of an animation that we recorded in my class.
That’s all for today