Breathing Life and Animation into the Green Room

The following videos and pictures are the result of well over 20 hours of work that took place on Thursday 14th and Saturday 16th November 2013.Thursdays build kicked off around 10:00 with Chris Young & myself loading up a car and taking the MoCap equipment down to the Scott Sutherland Building where the newly appointed Green Screen Room is located. We then set about getting the MoCap Workstation machine (a HP Z400 – Core i7 Processor, 24GB RAM) up and running. This was followed by getting the MoCap cameras (12 Flex 13 Cameras) mounted on to the railing encircling the perimeter of the room. If you watch the video you will see that Tommy Taylor also popped by in the afternoon to get Internet access to the workstation sorted out. By the end of the day all the cameras were setup and properly positioned with respect to the centre of the motion capture volume.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDFYw3SdTeY&w=640&h=360]

Saturday was a question of getting things ready so the system could be calibrated. The calibration process involved the Wanding of the capture volume, followed by the establishment of the ground plane. It was then a matter of configuring the system to accept data from the MoCap suit by carrying out a T-Pose calibration to establish the location of all 34 markers. The system was now finally ready for it first MoCap test, which you can see in the middle of the video below. So how did the motion capture system perform you ask – surprisingly well.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3u4btSsOJs&w=640&h=360]

We have had the system for little over a year now and carried out the first initial setup and test in September last year. It was setup in our old green screen room (see video below) in the city centre which was a good bit less than half the size of this new room. As a result the motion capture volume was quite small, hence it was quite difficult to even get a T-Pose calibration for a specific actor. This time round the motion capture system really did work a treat. The first sign of this was that all markers were immediately recognised in the very first T-Pose attempt, hence took just a matter of second to configure.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssSa18IpvdM&w=640&h=360]

As you can guess given that the T-Pose was so quickly captured, the ability of the system to capture motion was far far better than our previous attempts in the old green room. Given the much larger capture space we were able to mount all the cameras at the same level (a height of about 2500mm) and spread them out across the perimeter. The previous configuration was limited to six geographic locations with cameras positioned in portrait mode at heights of six and eight feet. The capture volume is now quite a good size and should provide the potential of some interesting motion captures and animations to be created. Perhaps just as importantly as the size of the capture volume is the ability of the system to detect the positions of all the markers, in this respect the system performed really well, as an example quite a few markers were naturally hidden by doing some pushups yet the motion capture was flawless.

Hopefully with the MoCap system now having a permanent home and good capture results being generated we will see some interesting motion capture based 3D animations in the near future. To see more videos of all the steps involved in setting up the system take a look at the following playlist documenting the initial installation of the system a little over a year ago. If you wish to see the installation of the hardware in the new green room at a slower pace (25x real-time) then see below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJEFHiFIbyk&w=640&h=360]

For more images / info see the following resources.

Flicker Set – dated 14th Nov 2013 – Initial Setup
Flickr Set – dated 16th Nov 2013 – Calibrated and Cable Management
Blog Post – comp.rgu.ac.uk – dated 21st Sept 2012 – the first Build
Blog Post – dcdoolan.wordpress.com – dated 23rd Sept 2013 – detailed info on the setup
Blog Post – dcdoolan.wordpress.com – dated 16th Nov 2013 – Motion Capture in Pictures
Blog Post – dcdoolan.wordpress.com – dated 16th Nov 2013 – Motion Capture in Video

Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room
Motion Capture Setup in Green Room

Some images of how the room now appears after some tidying of all those cables.

2013 11 16 MoCap
2013 11 16 MoCap
2013 11 16 MoCap