What is the Motion Capture Technology and how is it used in the world of visual effects filmmaking?

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Avatar | 20th Century Fox

Motion capture, often known as mo-cap or mocap, is the activity of capturing and combining the movement of objects or people in real-time. This allows you to film someone in real-time and then save the movie to your computer. Motion capture has changed the way filmmakers create characters, but it is only one part of visual effects.

The evolution of Motion Capture Technology

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In the 1960s, an American animator named Lee Harrison III made the first significant step toward the development of motion capture technology. A system designed by Harrison, which used analog electronics, cathode ray tubes, and adjustable resistors to capture and animate the movement of a person in real-time, was eventually developed.

Motion capture is a forerunner of rotoscoping, one of the first animation techniques. The approach is to trace live-action videos to produce an animated film. In the early days of animation, this was the dominant method for making believable humanoid creatures.

It was most famous for its use in the production of Snow White in Walt Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the world’s first animated theatrical film. While mocap has been used sporadically in films such as American Pop (1981) and Cool World (1992), Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists was the first to completely utilize the method (2000). Despite the film’s failure, Peter Jackson utilized motion capture in the creation of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy in the early 2000s.

What is the process of Motion Capture Technology?

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Motion capture professionals use sensors all over a performer to record motions. These track and record their motions, allowing them to be mapped in real-time as a virtual skeleton on a computer screen. Animators then utilize computer tools to superimpose data on top of the motions, producing a virtual set in which the movement may occur.

This approach is used in domains other than the big screen; motion capture technology is widely used in sports and athletics. When I go to a bike fitting, I’m connected to a maze of motion sensors and cables that allow them to track and analyze my emotions. A computer shows a schematic of all the sensors as they move along with me while I pedal. This allows me to see how I position myself and move while riding the bike. I can even see how my posture changes when I adjust the position of the bike’s seat or handlebars.

In today’s world, the state of Motion Capture Technology:

Because of this, motion capture movies with large casts have become increasingly popular, and technology has progressed at the same time. Tracking dots that correspond to important places in a computer-generated image (CGI) model will be worn by motion capture actors as part of a full-body garment. The location of the dots, as well as the changing distances between them, are captured by the camera, resulting in a framework upon which the animation may be built on. In addition to capturing their entire bodies, motion tracking suits may also be used to record a specific section of the body.

Avatar is a masterpiece, entirely created with motion Capture Technology

Avatar is an epic science fiction film directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. The filmmaker desired to utilize computer-generated characters who looked like real people and were created using modern motion capture animation methods.

 

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