Techniques For Motion Capture Computer Science

Essay add: 20-10-2016, 18:47   /   Views: 8

Motion capture techniques have been used is started from the late of 1970's, this techniques is used for recording the human actions or body movement. Motion capture is tracking the point of the human arms, joints of the body parts. After tracking the movement actions, they will implement the body movement to the animation characters.

Goniometers(Simon Fraser University) from 1980 - 1983

Within this period of time, biomechanics labs were started to use computers to analyze and identify the human movement. Computer Science and Professor of kinesiology at Simon Fraser University - Tom Calvert, using potentiometers to a body and combine with the computer animated characters for clinical assessment of movement abnormalities and choreographic studies. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Graphical Marionette (MIT) from 1982 - 1983

New York Institute of Technology Computer Graphics Lab and MIT Architecture Machine Group experimented with optical tracking of the human body. The optical tracking is pick out the reflecting dots or the LED flashing points. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Mike the Talking Head (deGraf/Wahrman) from 1988

deGraf/Wahrman using his new 4D machines to developed "Mike the Talking Head" for Silicon Graphics to display the real-time capabilities. The Silicon Graphics hardware can provide real-time combination between head geometry and facial expressions. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Waldo C. Graphic (Pacific Data Images) from 1988

Due to the new Silicon Graphic 4D series workstation and the professional in Pacific Data Images they found the solution to solve the capability of the technology problem that faced Jim Henson Productions. The new Silicon Graphic 4D series workstation can custom tracking 8 degree of freedom input device through the SGI. They are able to control the points or positions of the mouth movements in real-time. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Dozo (Kleiser - Walczak) from 1989

Kleiser Walczak produced Dozo, he used multiple cameras to triangulate the images of the reflective tape that placed on the actors body. The output will be based on the three dimensional trajectory of each reflector. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Mario (SimGraphics) from 1992

SimGraphics developed a facial tracking system name as Face Waldo. They separate the face into four parts, which is chin, eyebrows, cheeks and each part is attached by the mechanical sensors. The advantages of this system is one actors can manipulate all the facial expressions of a character and the actor only act like as himself/herself the only needed is the facial expression. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Alive! (Brad deGraf) from 1992

He developed a hand device which is having five plungers actuated by the puppeteer's finger. This device is used to control the facial expressions. (David J.Sturman, 2007)

Acclaim from 1993

Acclaim had developed a power and high performance optical motion tracking system that much likely used for Dozo and Graphical Marionette. The different of this optical motion tracking system is, this system able to track up to hundred points simultaneously in real-time. The purpose for Acclaim developed this power system is because this system can helped in generate character motion for video games. (David J.Sturman, 2007)


Motion capture or motion tracking are define as the process of track or recording the body movement or action of the actors and convert to movement or actions into digital model. The motion tracking system is used for merge with the computer animated characters; to do this is because make used of the reality actions that same with the real human. The motions capture system with track our human arms, legs, body movement and others, to translate the motions into digital model and implement to the computer animated character to perform a smooth actions.

Motion capture system is sampled many times per second, so the movement of the actor will be record point by point. The motion capture system is also referring to the performance capture, because high performance and fast sampled rate can avoid the missing movement of the actors.

After getting the entire movement digital model, the motion model will mapped to the animation data. So the 3D model character will perform the same actions as the real actors with the smooth and nice motion.

Motion capture systems there are basically separate into three types which is electromagnetic, mechanical and optical based system. Even separate into three but the basic process are still the same.

First step is the input, recording the actors' movement.

Second step is the processed to identify the corresponding marker of the actors and transfer into digital model.

Lastly, the result is converting into 3D trajectory data (mocap file).

Figure 1.0.1:

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