Motion Capture Overview
Here’s a quick overview of several types of motion capture.
Manufacturers: - Animazoo - XSens/Moven
These use an inertial sensor on each limb for measurement, as well as a software model of the biomechanics of the human body to help compensate for the innate drift that inertial systems experience.
Benefits: - Wide area tracking (can combine with an Intersense IS1200 to lock the character into the same tracking position as the Previzion camera tracking data). Can track over a whole soundstage. - Can operate under costumes; does not need to be visible
Problems: - Inertial tracking not as accurate as optical based methods - No provision for face or finger tracking - Problems can arise when character’s feet are off the ground
Active LED Marker
Manufacturers: - PhaseSpace
Uses pulsed LED lights blinking at specific frequencies, along with very fast linear array cameras arranged in a circle around the tracking volume
Benefits: - Most accurate tracking, in millimeter range - Each LED blinks at a different rate, so the markers can’t get mixed up — less need for data cleanup in post production - Provisions for face and finger tracking - Very, very fast tracking — up to 400 Hz
Problems: - Expensive to scale to large tracking ranges (needs many cameras) - Markers on subject need to be wired up and visible
Passive Marker Optical
Manufacturers: - Vicon - Motion Analysis - NaturalPoint
Uses passive retro-reflective “ping pong balls” on subject, with optical cameras arranged in a circle around the tracking volume.
Benefits: - More accurate than inertial tracking, less accurate than active marker LED - Provisions for face and finger tracking - Low cost entry level systems ($6k for NaturalPoint OptiTrack)
Problems: - Markers have to be visible on subject - Cameras can be confused on which marker is which, leading to increased data cleanup in post production - Expensive to scale to large tracking ranges (need many cameras)