Our studio is still moving along, despite our lack of posts on this website. The obvious reason for lack of posts is that most of us are very busy. In particular we have been busy working on several animation projects.
Over the past year, the studio has had the benefit of having a consistent performer. Jake Wuchterl was a student in the Individually Designed Major program with an emphasis on dance and performance. He was in the studio with us on a regular basis for the past year. We were able to collaborate on a project for his capstone performance. The dance piece was choreographed by Jake and then we captured the entire sequence. To visualize the dance, we used a smoke simulation to create a sort of otherworldly performer to perform a sort of duet with Jake on stage. You can see some examples of this in our demo below.
The demo will be displayed on May 09 2018 at the UWW MAGD Expo. The expo is an opportunity for students in our Media Arts and Game Development project to showcase and present their work. This will be the third year in a row that the UWW MOCAP Studio has had a demo to show what we have been doing.
The UWW MOCAP Studio director, Assistant Professor A. Bill Miller has also continued to incorporate motion data in his experimental animation projects. You can see some examples of his work on his website. Some of the projects completed over the past several months will be released for VR or as animated videos within the coming months.
As a final thought, we have recently started discussion on updating and changing our system in the UWW MOCAP Studio. We currently run a markerless system that has not been updated in a few years. To bring things up to date we are beginning to look at different systems. If you work with MOCAP, have ideas related to funding, have suggestions for systems we might consider and would like to talk with us – please reach out.
We haven’t posted recently because we’ve been in between semesters and training new students. With the beginning of Spring, there are a lot of good things in the works. As everyone has been learning how our system works, we have made some additions to the library. I’d like to highlight them here – but you can also find them on our MOCAP Data page.
We haven’t posted much this semester, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. Some new students have been training in on our system, we have been working with Kaliber Imaging as they develop their system, and developing a small “art game”.
The UWW student organization GAMED and the UWM student organization Decode came in for demos this semester. We also had one of the students from the UWW Dance Department in a few times to help us out with our captures. We will be adding some of those captures to our Data Page – if you’d like to download and try it out!
Last week, Assistant Professor A. Bill Miller released a new experimental animation video. The project included extensive use of Motion Capture Data collected in the UWW MOCAP Studio. Miller attached simulated cloths to the captured rig and used his own drawings as the textures/materials. The work continues his exploration of the use of MOCAP for generating movement systems and animation that is not narrative or “character” driven.
A lot has happened at our MOCAP Studio this summer. Most importantly, we added 3 new cameras to our configuration. With the help of support at Organic Motion, we updated the arrangement of our space and got the new cameras into the system. As we suspected, our capture capabilities have been greatly increased and we are now working on some new data sets to share here on our site. For example, this morning we got our first really clean Jumping Jack motions recorded and edited. You can find it in the new Active Actions page on this site. We will continue adding more as we go through the Fall Semester here in Whitewater.
In other news, Assistant Professor A. Bill Miller presented a short paper and video demonstration of some of his recent work at the 2nd International Workshop on Movement in Computing in Vancouver. The research is based on his creative experimentation with some of the data that we record that isn’t used in normal MOCAP projects. The title of the paper “Experimenting with Noise in Markerless Motion Capture” refers to use of MOCAP data that normally isn’t very practical to use, but is a byproduct of the way we have been stress testing and improving our capture studio.
Just a quick update, our current MOCAP data for Idle and Walk actions now include two file types: FBX and BVH. On campus our workflow is usually centered on industry software like MAYA. Some of our faculty also use opensource applications like Blender. To accommodate those two directions, we thought it would be a good idea to make our data available in formats that could work in both places. Please let us know if you would like to see us release other file types or have any issues with the files.
We’ve added a few more things to our library as the Spring 2015 semester has come to a close. Over the summer months we will be working on some upgrades to our capture studio. It is likely that we won’t add many new captures until things get rolling again in September. We hope you have a good summer and if you do anything interesting with our data, please let us know!
We have also put together a general naming reference for rigging that works well between our captures and motionbuilder. This information is around online, but because it relates to our processes, we thought we would share it here as well.
You could consider it a bit of a baby step… but we have plans to release more in the future! For now they are in the FBX format. We are capable of outputting different filetypes, but for now we haven’t been able to verify them. Once we have that, we will update the page with our files to include the formats we would like to make to available.