What is Motion Capture Technology? How does it work?
Motion Capture also known as Motion Tracking or ‘Mocap’ for short is basically 3D Animation. It’s a process in which recordings of human movement are translated into a digital form by filming sensors on every pivot point on the actor/actresses body. Once this footage is recorded it is then translated onto a 3D Model. Motion Capture technology has advanced phenomenally since the 1970’s and Performance Capture is a term referred to when Motion Capture animates small human features such as fingers, subtle expressions and facial features. More sensors will be used to portray these features making It is a very time consuming process, a perfect example of Performance Capture is the 2009 20th Century Fox award winning film “Avatar” which took almost 15 years to create.
Different motion capture Technologies:
Mechanical Motion Capture: Mechanical Motion Capture is a process in which the actors/actresses wear skeleton structured body suits known as ‘exo-skeleton motion capture systems’ to track human joints and angles. Mechanical Motion Capture is still a popular type of Motion Capture because of it’s cost, It’s one of the cheapest options available in it’s field.
Electromagnetic Motion Capture: Electromagnetic Motion Capture is one of the more technical types of Motion Capture relying on transmitters and receivers to track movement. An actor/actoress would wear several magnetic receivers in which transmitters would tract and calculate movement. Electromagnetic Motion Capture was used in another 20th century fox film ‘The Lord of The Rings’ for one of the lead roles of the creature ‘Gollum’.
Optical Motion Capture: Optical Motion Capture is another common form of Motion Capture, It requires the actor/actoress to wear reflective sensors over a tight ‘Mocap Suit’ or there own clothes if they wish. They would then continue to act out the part whilst several cameras track the reflective pads.