Capturing Realistic Human Movement
August 19, 2013 – When animating 3D models, some actions that are required for animated characters to do can be difficult to create certain actions. When we want to give a character a more natural feel or lifelike characteristics we use real people to act out movements that records it into 3D. This technique is known as Motion Capture.
Motion capture is the process of capturing realistic movements for animated characters that can be used for many types of productions such as Industrial, Biomechanics, and for Media arts. When using Motion Capture, a camera called an optitrack V100: R2 was used to record the actions of the actor. The cameras are set up in four corners of the room on tripods and each tripod holds two cameras, the more cameras that are set up around the room the better of the accuracy of the recording the movements of the actor.
Shown on the right is an example of an actor wearing a special kind of body suit that is lightweight and easy to move around in. On the suits are markers that are the white dots which can stick onto the body suit that act as sensors for the cameras to lock on to. The markers are put on the suit in certain areas of the body, such as the shoulders, waist, wrist, knees, head, and feet. As the actor is performing, a computer records their actions using the Optitrack program that shows a 3D model moving in sync with the actor.
Using the completed motion capture sequences, animators work with them to flesh out the movements of the 3D character. The motion capture is an effective way to animate at Epic Software.