Motion Capture Recording vs. Realtime
Motion capture hardware has two principal applications. The most common is the capture of data for use in 3D animation software or motion analysis. The term 'real-time' describes the other application, in which a motion capture system is used to translate the movements of a performer 'in real time' onto an animated character, for live television performances as well as performances at trade shows, conventions and events.
Motion capture for use in 3D character animation software is probably the most common form of motion capture for the entertainment industry. The MoCap sessions are generally storyboarded and well scripted and rehearsed prior to the capture session. Studios relying on 'out-of-house' rentals are under pressure to get everything right during their session(s) since trying to schedule a 'make-up' session is very costly. It is often difficult to find an open slot to fit into on short notice at a motion capture studio.
The Gypsy motion capture system makes it easy for animation companies to use motion capture whenever they need to. An animator can put on the Gypsy body suit by himself in the middle of the night and accomplish a hundred animations by morning. In-house motion capture pays for itself quickly, when compared with the cost of one or two weeks of rental in a studio, or the cost of hiring an additional animator.
The PhaseSpace optical system can also be easily operated by a single actor or animator, providing ease of use that is unequaled in the motion capture field.
Performance animation could be described as 'improvisation meets CG (computer graphics). Autodesk MotionBuilder provides real-time rendered 3D animated characters doing the same movements as the actors, at the same time. The 3D character(s) can exist within a computer generated 'virtual set' or can interact with human characters in real environment or human characters in a virtual environment.
The Gypsy body tracker is a natural for performance animation. Gypsy has the lowest latency of any of the real-time motion capture systems. It can operate in the widest range of spaces, and is not subject to metallic interference. Additionally, the Gypsy allows multiple actors (wearing multiple suits) to interact within close quarters. The Gypsy is easy to transport and set up, and requires minimal re-calibration, making it an ideal solution for the demanding requirements of live real-time performance.
The PhaseSpace system provides outstanding real-time performance animation capabilities. It takes less than an hour to set up in a new location, and provides real-time performance capabilities that are superior to other optical systems, thanks to the software's use of active LED’s each with its own unique optical signature.