3d animation

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The Optitrack Insight VCS shoulder mounted

Artanim just added a new tool to its motion capture equipment: the Optitrack Insight VCS, a professional virtual camera system. From now on, everyone doing motion capture at Artanim will be able to step into the virtual set, preview or record real camera movement and find the best angles to view the current scene.

Virtual cinematography with Optitrack Insight VCS and our Vicon System

The motion capture data captured by our Vicon system is processed in real time in MotionBuilder and displayed on the camera monitor. The position of MotionBuilder’s virtual camera is updated by the position of the reflective markers on the camera rig. In addition, the camera operator can control several parameters such as the camera zoom, horizontal panning, etc. The rig itself is very flexible and can be modified to accommodate different shooting styles (shoulder-mounted, hand-held, etc.).

We can’t wait to use it in future motion capture sessions and show you some results. Meanwhile, you can have a look at our first tests in the following video.

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Sochi 2014 – the next Winter Olympic Games – is coming soon… For us, it was the opportunity to motion capture several winter sports! Indeed, we were contacted by Kenzan Technologies for the making of a 3D animation requiring different short captures of professional athletes. We spent a weekend in Zermatt to acquire the necessary data. The weather conditions were not on our side, -15° at the top, snow falls, zero visibility, not really the best conditions to go skiing with our Xsens system and a computer on the slopes! After experiencing a lot of issues, especially because of the cold, we were finally able to obtain good animation data during the weekend. We captured four athletes in the following disciplines: Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboard.

Hockey motion capture with Xsens MVNSnowboard motion capture with Xsens MVNFreestyle skiing motion capture with Xsens MVN
 

Back in Geneva, we captured three additional people to complete our sample of winter sports: ice hockey, speed skating and bobsleigh. Now you are wondering… Is there a bobsleigh slope in Geneva? Well of course, there isn’t! But with some tricks, a good carpenter and a little practice, it is possible to produce the illusion… Note that for this last capture, it was not necessary to have a professional athlete!

Bobsleight motion capture with Xsens MVN

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Bread roll dance motion capture

The famous bread roll dance from The Gold Rush

We were recently contacted to perform the motion capture for an upcoming short movie entitled “The Great Imitator” created by Boris Beer. This short animated movie will be a tribute to Charlie Chaplin. Without giving too much details, the goal of the shooting was to capture some iconic scenes of Chaplin’s most famous movies.

For example, the first scene we captured was the one from The Great Dictator where Chaplin plays with an inflatable globe. We also had to capture the famous nut screwing scene from Modern Times as well as some scenes from The Kid. Fabrice Bessire (the actor) did a great job reinterpreting Chaplin in those scenes.

Finally, among the selected scenes was the famous “Bread roll dance” from The Gold Rush. In this scene, Charlie Chaplin creates a small ballet by giving life to two forks and two bread roll in order to entertain his friends. As you can see on the pictures, this capture required a very specific and unique bread motion capture setup (patent pending!).

We will talk again about this short film when it will be finished. Stay in touch!

Fabrice Bessire - The actor      Bread Roll Dance - The Gold Rush      Bread motion capture setup

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Are you interested in learning more about motion capture or simply curious to discover the magic of mocap? On May 7th and 8th 2012, we will organize a workshop at artanim in collaboration with Focal.

The goal of this two-day workshop will be to put hands on our two motion capture systems: our 24 cameras MXT40s Vicon system and our Xsens MVN motion capture suit. From system calibration to final rendering, the whole pipeline will be covered.

Mocap with Vicon System   Mocap with Xsens   Motion capture studio

 

Program:

  • The first day will be dedicated to capture data. After a brief theoretical presentation on motion capture, participants will be able to try each system and assess their advantages and drawbacks.
  • The second day will focus on data post-processing and their integration in a 3D authoring software. This will allow the participants to get a clearer view of what is involved when using motion capture for 3D animation.

Registration to this workshop is open until April 4th on Focal’s website.

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artanim participated in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2011 which rewards the finest watch creations of the year. The ceremony was held at the Grand Théâtre de Genève on Saturday 19th of November 2011. Simply the best Swiss watchmakers were present, as well as the President of the Confederation – Micheline Calmy-Rey – the Director of the United Nations in Geneva and Ambassadors.

Under the theme “Time in the cinema”, artanim created in collaboration with Move for Art a show combining dance and 3D animation, a leap into the future marked by the inevitable epic sci-fi film “Star Wars” created by George Lucas. Darth Vader, the head of the imperial army, was embodied on stage by a dancer (Manuel Vignoulle). Its 3D clone, as well as the imperial troops were projected on big screens behind him and animated by the rhythm of his motion.

The video of the show is available in our portfolio. Check it out!

 

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marker setup for motion capture
Last Thursday, the students from the Digital Film Animation Program of SAE Institute Geneva came to our studio for a great workshop on motion capture.
After 5 hours of theoretical lectures, the students were able to discover our motion capture studio and get their hands on our Vicon system.

The first step was to learn how to calibrate properly the system: camera parameters adjustment, reflections, wand wave and finally setting up the origin of the system. Once this was done, they quickly dressed up and started to position the reflective markers on the actors. Care was taken not to forget one!
The next step was to calibrate the actors. A range of motion was first captured and then processed to fit a virtual skeleton to the performers. Last check: no marker is missing, reconstruction is fine, the labeling and the solve is ok… Good! Now let’s capture something!

During the afternoon, a few movements were captured and then post-processed. The students were also able to preview in real-time their animation in Motionbuilder. A lot of fun but also a nice way to check how the actor performance will be transposed to a 3D character.
Motion capture courses with SAE institute Motion capture courses

 

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Here is artanim’s new motion capture demo reel. Discover our facilities and motion capture systems!

Taekwondo and tango movements were captured using our 24 cameras Vicon system. Rock climbing and mountain bike were tracked with our Xsens MVN suit.

Special thanks to Valerie, Sina, Etienne and Houmi for their participation.

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