A recent visit to a motion capture studio, where students planned and performed an action sequence, was something Video Game Design and Animation student Anthony Richards said he won’t soon forget.
“The facility was thrilling to be in, to see the cameras and our fellow students in suits used to capture the nuances of human movement was an experience,” Richards said. “We were able to see firsthand the steps required in creating motion capture animation and how it is applied to the industry.”
The trip to Fast Motion Studios in Toronto was part of the curriculum for the Video Game Design and Animation Diploma at Toronto Film School. Motion capture is where the movements and actions of people are recorded and that information is used to animate digital character models in 2D or 3D computer animation. The session with Toronto Film School students was hosted by Plato Fountidakis and Paul Thibodeau with Andrew Richardson providing technical support.
Rob Elsworthy, the Program Director for the Video Game Design and Animation Diploma explained that during this session Toronto Film School students learned in details what motion capture performance is, watched demonstrations and then took part in an exciting motion capture exercise. Twenty infrared Optitrak cameras record the 2 actors who perform in suits with 41 tracking markers, which are grey reflective balls. Stunts, like backflips and leaps, were performed with wire work. Elsworthy also explained that the students learned of props are tracked.
Learn more about Rob Elsworhy in this video:
Among the lessons, Richards said he is taking away is the importance of quality, attention to detail, professionalism, working safely and using the right professionals for the job.
“The staff at the studio has extensive experience in both film and gaming industries from movies such as 300 and games like DMC (Devil May Cry), they showed us what is required from us as up and coming animators,” Richards said. “ Learning the difference between motion capture animation and keyframe animation and seeing how both can be used in different situations gave me a new perspective and drive to be in the animation field.”