HomeBrew Motion Capture
In addition to my previous post about animation for Normans Island, I've been playing with the notion that I can use some really affordable Motion Capture solutions from home. These solutions are never perfect, but allow me to move quickly and try as many ideas as I can while I search for the performance of a character.
In the past, I was tasked with animating dozens of Aliens in prison cells for "Independence Day 2". This would normally be a very time consuming task, but we had a few Xbox Kinects lying around and we were able to knock out a few iterations really quickly. Here is one the shots from the final film.
So, first thing's first. If you want to set up something like this at home. You'll need a Kinect 2 (I got mine for $50 off Craigslist). You will also need windows 10, usb 3.0 and this cable from amazon.
After that, purchase or try out IpiSoft. There are other packages, but I've found this one works great and is easy to use. There's some great jitter reduction features which for this type of data is really important, I've found.
I only have a modest sized apartment at my disposal, but the less "busy" your background is, the cleaner the capture. Also, avoid having other people/cats/ghosts in the scene, as it can get messy quickly.
Alright! Time to DANCE!
So the data worked out fairly clean, like I said earlier, its not perfect, but its a start!
I'll go ahead and export this now as an FBX and import that into Maya.
After we have imported the raw data, you could be really smart and do some fancy retargeting, but that is a lesson that I am still unsure how to approach, so for now I'm just going to constrain my animation rig to this skeleton.
And there we have it! some rough poses and timing that will serve as a great base for my first animation pass.
Did you like this post? Have anything you'd like to add? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more awesome posts!