Procedural Animation – Week 2 – Animation

We met up with David, teacher at our school. To help us out with the motion capture and teach us how to navigate the program. He told us a lot of important information about how to calibrate the cameras before we used them. We were told to check all of the cameras and see if all of them were working as intended.

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In total there was 8 cameras working at 100% capacity.

We were using tools in the room itself to check if the cameras was able to spot 4 dots placed on the tool. We then used another tool to calibrate the whole room by go around for 5 minutes and waving it around in the room like a madman. The cameras picked up red dots in 120fps, the more dots you had on one camera the better calibration you would get.

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After the wand had done its job, we started the processing status of the wand.

How this worked was that it would use the data the wand had gathered and processed it to calibrate the average length of space we could walk on. We had to click on “Run Again” several times in attempt to get the “Wand Length – Avg:” as close to 500 as possible. The better calibrated, the cleaner our recordings would get. To our luck, we managed to get it fairly close to 500, and the recordings ended up very clean. Rarely any dead frames or dots on our mocap suit that would disappear.

We got our actor, Edvard, to dress up in the motion capture suit.

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It was important that the suit would be tight, because if the actor would have folds on his or her suit, the recording could bug out, or the rig could break.

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To our luck, Edvard fit perfectly inside the Large suit we had. Additionally, we had another Small, Medium and Extra Large suit laying around.

Now that he was fully dressed up, we had to attach the dots to his suit. In total there was 40 dots we were going to place around on him. So as David instructed us where to place the dots, me and Marcus placed them on each side of the suit to speed up the process.

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After our actor was all set to go, we had to attach all of the dots he was wearing to an existing rig. We instructed Edvard to stand in a T-pose while we recorded 2 seconds of it so we could use this recording to attach the data from the dots to the rig itself.

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It was quite easy because the program asked us to locate the dots using a given name to that part of the skeleton. Having prior knowledge to what the different parts of a rig is called, it was not a problem to connect the dots.

Now that all of this was done, we were ready to record all of the movement we needed.

Marcus instructed Edvard on what we needed to do, and I recorded it and cleaned up the recordings. Luckily, the calibration was so good that there was rarely any clean up needed between each recording.

 

Next up now, is cleaning up the recordings in Motionbuilder with assistance from our good teacher Josh.

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