Motion Capture

It can be said that motion capture is still a very new technology. Indeed in the creative industries it can be seen somewhat as a black art. This is indeed quite a shame as individuals who can master this skill have a very different skill set to others and can find themselves with advantages which make them extremely employable.

Only a few institutions in the world offer high level tuition in motion capture.

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At the School of Computing, Informatics and Media at the University of Bradford I have introduced motion capture modules with great success in order to rectify the problems mentioned above. The modules which are featured on animation and games courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels aim to both introduced and further educate students in the art of motion capture. The success of these courses can be attributed to the industry focus on which they are based. Access to highly specialised equipment used for capturing real motion for 3D animation is made available both in directed teaching as well as for group and individual projects.

The Vicon optical motion capture system is very similar to the system used by Peter Jackson, which made it possible for Andy Serkis to play Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and star as King Kong. Motion capture is frequently used by animators to produce cinematic ‘cut scenes’ for video games and is becoming more widely used in advertising and television. The popularity of this technology has been recently reinforced further by one of our own graduates, Derek Beaumont winning the BBC create and connect production award due to his use of motion capture in his project the Fisherman. In addition the system has many more applications other than those specific to the entertainment industries, including medical and engineering applications. The increasing demand for motion capture is making our graduates extremely employable across many different sectors.

System Setup

The department’s industry standard motion capture studio currently consists of 16 Vicon T20 cameras. The T20 is the fastest Vicon camera available and is capable of capturing a staggering 500 frames per second at full frame resolution (2 Megapixels). You can accurately capture high speed movements such as sports or get critical frames for games and the system is capable of capturing both full body and detailed facial movement.

Our History

The School’s motion capture unit has grown out of SIMULA, a Bradford agency located in the School of Computing Informatics and Media, dedicated to supporting the region's technology businesses. In recent years this unit has gained a high level of experience in the field of motion capture and has been used to produce the 3D animation for several major game publishers including SEGA, Codemasters and Atari for such games as: World Snooker Championship (2004, 2005, 2006), Driver: Parallel Lines (2006), GTR (2005) & GTR2 (2006).

© Copyright 2011 Karl Abson. All Rights Reserved.