Alexey Baskakov from the Russian mocap studio 1C Online Games briefly talked about their motion capture system and what changes in the technology he expects in the future.
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My name is Alexey Baskakov, I represent the Motion Capture studio 1C Online Games. The studio was created in 2019 with the goal to minimize the cost of character animation for video games. I have been working with mocaps since 1997 and I have collaborated with various Russian and foreign companies during this time.
What Services Does Your Studio Provide?
Our studio provides motion capture services for video games and other areas where character animation is needed.
What Mocap System Do You Use?
There are currently two types of mocap systems used in the industry:
- Optical (Optitrack, Vicon)
- Inertial (Xsens, Perception Neuron)
Is It Expensive?
High-quality mocap does not come cheap but if a lot of character animation is required, then the mocap greatly reduces the production costs. For example, if you use four actors, you can get up to four hours of animation per hour of studio work. Just imagine how much resources (finance and time) it will take to do this work manually.
Do You Do Finger and Facial Mocap?
Our studio does not do full-scale capture of the fingers or actor's facial expressions. We place markers on three of the actor's fingers and in some cases, this allows us to avoid doing additional animation for them. These tasks stand somewhat apart and require separate equipment and even when you have the tools, getting accurate finger and facial animation is not an easy task.
How Much Cleanup Is Required?
Studio equipment allows us to get fairly clean mocaps, there is practically no marker jitter. With few exceptions, this allows us to avoid applying animation filters for automatic cleanup. The final animation process still needs to be handled by an animator – mocap greatly eases the animation process, but it is not yet possible to completely exclude manual work from it.
The Current State of Technology
Motion capture technologies are improving and becoming more accessible and user-friendly. I think that with the improvement of AI algorithms, properly functional markerless motion capture systems based on image recognition will start appearing; they will only use ordinary cameras and we'll see the long-awaited "make it beautiful" button finally added in the applications. In the meantime, to get high-quality animation, you have to use multi-camera marker systems similar to ours.