Ben Freed and Kellie Woodhouse from AnnArbor.com spent some time recently with the 3D Lab to get motion captured and learn a little more about that area of service. While his visit and conversations were mostly on capturing people, the motion capture system is capable of capturing non-humanoid forms as well such as robots, helicopters, and props.
The directions were coming fast and furious.
“Roll your head!”
“Twist your wrists! Forearms! Whole Arms?”
I was participating in a motion capture demonstration at an open house for the University of Michigan 3-D Lab located in the Duderstadt Center on North Campus. Wearing a skintight black suit with 53 nib-like reflective markers attached, I was standing in a circle of cameras with bright red lights attached trying to concentrate and follow the instructions.
“Now twist your whole body! Good! Now left leg, front back side! Now the right!”
I was being “guided” through this series of motions by the lab’s motion capture and visualization hardware specialist Steffen Heise.
Each of the eight cameras around me was trained to pick up the red light reflecting off my markers. Each camera was using those points of light to take a “picture” of me that would be combined with the seven other images to create a three-dimensional image.
Using that image, and once I was through with the light calisthenics, an animated character would appear on the screen and I would be able to control his motions.
To read more and see a video of Ben going through the process, visit the AnnArbor.com article below.