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Lightesword Xue

Motion Capture for Secondlife

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So, after playing with Qavimator for some time.. and after visiting a few sims.. I drew the following conclusions.

 

1) Mocap animation making seems to be on the rise.

2) I'm growing tired of making static, simple, and basic animations.

3) As far as a Kinect is concerned, that's my knowledge on Motion Capture Software.

4) I have no idea where to turn to find Mocap Software that isn't going to need my arm, leg, and kidney to buy. 

5) I want to buy some Mocap software  that is anywhere in the 200 dollar price range, but lower would be better. 

6) Free Mocap software is generally limited to trails, and the primary versions are over 500 to 1000USD in price. (Not a real issue anymore) Edited on Sept 24th 2013 )

 7) I heard there was Mocap computer software that worked with the Kinect System. But this is a fairy tale or real fact?

 

8) UPDATE: Sept 24th 2013: Want top notch software for my wife and I personally. Please refer to something that is SL compatible!

 

Anyways, if anyone uses Mocap Software in their animation creations, please help me out here. I'm wanting to make some weapon animations for myself. I don't want to buy prefabed animations, they cost way too much for ONE animation and in addition most weapon creators use them so we have a flood of animation spam on the marketplace.

 

I want to design weapons that are my own design, my own animations and etc.. anyone can prefab.. 

So I'm ready to be hit with the reality mallet.. so don't hold back I need to see what I'm getting involved with here.. so if you need to crush my dreams, crush them.. but it's fine.. I recover fast.  

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It also did experiments with low-budget mocap for a while. The results were never "perfect on pressing a button", the output was still very usable - mostly to have the basic amination to continue working with.

My first try was (since I'm using 3dsMax that included the MatchMover software) traditional. Putting on black clothes and attached white ping-pong balls everywhere on me. I got 2 cheap (100$) cameras and recorded my moves with these 2 cams. After the tracking in Matchmover I finally got the anims into 3dsMax for further usage.

My second try was with Kinect. The results were less accurate that with the method above, but still usable as 'base'-anims. For the kinect you might have a look at brekel.com software. If you want to code your own application, I had some success using nui.vision.dll and C#  (google lets you find it).

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Oh very nice! I'm definately bookmarking this thread. I already have one Kinect camera.. getting another wouldn't hurt. Thanks! I'm definately liking the multiple options you two have given me.. hopefully I decide on one that's best for me.

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I like all of this. Now what if my situation changed. (Got married since this thread was placed...) And My wife and I want to invest in some really good mocap software. Any ideas on that too? Maybe update this thread some on the information since the info on here is a tad old now. 

 

So help me out on that. Best mocap software that can be used with secondlife. I want to spend like 8000.00 USD.

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Lightesword Xue wrote:

So help me out on that. Best mocap software that can be used with secondlife. I want to spend like 8000.00 USD.

That's quite a leap from not spending an arm and a leg.

It depends on what you want to capture, type of motion, how many actors and whether you want to have free form movement or be bound to a capture volume.

From my knowledge you have a choice of:-

 

  • Marker based systems
  • Markerless systems
  • Body worn sensors

Body worn sensors would be something like an exo-skeleton or other similarly worn accelerometers or whatever that are directly sensing the movement of the limbs.

Optical Marker based would be those where you wear a set of markers "ping pong balls" and motion is tracked via cameras

Optical Markerless systems are using cameras but without the need for markers.

http://www.naturalpoint.com/optitrack/products/motive-body-bundles/ start at around $7000 giving you a 6 camera set up which is suitable for capturing a single actor in a 6' by 8' volume.

http://www.animazoo.com/products/igs-180-range do body worn systems, if I recall they do a budget one for about £6000 to £8000 and upwards.

As mentioned by another, Brekel has a capture method for Kinect but it's not hugely accurate and requires clean up.

Popular and affordable are the offerings from http://ipisoft.com/store/ which range from single Kinect to now 8 camera options for capture of 2 actors.

What makes the ipiSoft product different from Brekel is that it captures the motion with Kinect or Sony PS3 Eye cameras (both very inexpensive) and then post processes the captured data.  This is not real time like Brekel but produces much much more accurate results, particularly when using more cameras.

As for which to choose, a single Kinect is fine if you can perform to it, in other words, if you can constrain your movement such that you don't occlude limbs as that's when it loses sight and goes loopy.  Using 2 Kinects they can either be put at 90 degrees to each other or 180 degrees and solve much of the occlusion issue.

Using 4 PS Eye cameras is considered roughly equivalent to 2 Kinects but more PS Eye's is better.

I would call ipiSoft sort of markerless in the sense that although it doesn't require specific body worn markers and calibration for those, when using PS Eye cameras, choice of clothing will influence the results, thus contrasting clothing in my view makes it sort of marker based.  Kinect cameras require nothing other than normal (not too baggy clothes).

Oh, head tracking and hand tracking with ipiSoft product is best done with Sony game controllers or Wii controllers.

The other factor to consider then is whether you want to just make animations that are acceptable for most of SL use, or whether you want to do high quality performances such as dances.  For those you will want high end equipment to compete with the quality that is already on offer.

If on the other hand you want to just create lots of the type of animations that would be useful then you should try the cheaper options such as ipiSoft DMC and start low cost before you spend a lot of money.

Don't forget that it's not just capture to bvh and upload to SL either!  There's time to post process and correct issues like foot sliding, make animations loop, cure any bad data where limbs go whacky and so on.  You wouldn't want to spend $8000 and then decide it's too much work.

Get hold of some bvh data and play around with it in software of your choice, blender with Avastar plug in is exceptionally low cost and capable for example and see how you get on with editing and polishing mocap.

Last comment, in my opinion, sex animations are best left NOT mocap!

Edit: If you want to do weapons then 2 Kinects plus a Sony Playstation Move controller would likely give you great results when combined with ipiSoft DMC would be a very cost effective system to work with before spending huge amounts of money and finding it a disaster.  The Playstation Move controller would be a hand held item that senses the hand motion and in your case would act as a "sword prop".  In fact, the software has an option to show it as sword even.

NOTE:  iPi offloads the processing to the graphics card so a good graphics card is essential.  Anything higher than an Nvidia GTX 460 works well.

I originally considered spending roughly the same amount as you mentioned, in the end i'm glad that I didn't as I just don't do enough to warrant it.  

 

iPi Motion Capture™ Basic Edition includes all basic features needed for high accuracy motion capture.

 

  • Supported configurations:
    • 1 or 2 depth sensors (Microsoft Kinect, or ASUS Xtion Live, or PrimeSense Carmine 1.08)
    • 3 or 4 USB cameras (Sony PS Eye recommended)
  • High quality tracking of the most complex motions
    • Including rotations like dancing, fighting, sports etc.
  • Props tracking with the help of motion sensors (Sony Move, Nintendo Wii Remote)
  • Capture volume
    • For depth sensors: 7 by 7 feet (~ 2 by 2 m)
    • For Sony PS Eye: 20 by 20 feet (~ 7 by 7 m)
  • Motion transfer
    • Automatic post-processing
    • Manual clean-up tools

 

 

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Thank you very much! And yes it is a big leap, but I was nearly broke back in 2011, times rapidly changed, and I'm siezing the moment. I can't make games like WoW and I may never become an actor, I saw the grim reality crush those fantasies. But, I and my wife want to try and do this animation thing.. it is the frosting of the dream cake, I couldn't eat my cake but I wanna lick the frosting. So we are settling for the frosting. Thanks for your help!

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Another that you may want to keep an eye on is this one http://www.yeitechnology.com/ who have some exceptionally low cost sensors and their demo video is here 

http://www.yeitechnology.com/productdisplay/3-space-mocap-starter-bundle $3995

Presently at Kickstarter funding stage but the sensors are getting cheaper and cheaper.  You could make a mocap suit  using several smartphones since they have essentially the same accelerometers and bluetooth for communications, which is along the lines of the way that these are going for budget work.

Then it's just back to the question of marker or markerless as to what suits best.

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I'm a fan of the kinect cameras and using that data for mocaps. Definitely use more than 1. Whatever system you use, be aware that no matter the tools, the mocaps will be as good as the technician is at using the tools, and how each recording is set up and executed. I've seen crap mocaps that were made with a $20k system, and I've seen beautiful mocaps created with cheap software. It's really up to you tho. Also, if you want to get into animation, spend some of that money on a kickbutt PC. It will make life much easier for you. I'd suggest spending over $1000 minimum on the PC.

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hii there

I know this is very old topic  and not sure if there will be replies but i ended here cause i was too looking for more informations about second life making animations. i am more interested in dances - i DO belong to a belly dance group dancer and we try to prepare great events dancing on stage synching music with nc  sequenced choreogaphies  using all these high quality mocap but personnaly i wanted to take this experience to another level..adding something new and more attracting..my own dances - i do also dance in real time and so fun if i can import some of all these combos n moves i ve learned.::: anyway after trying kinect i was nt so impressed and i started giving up my ideas til i discovered this kickstarter  its a mocap system project called prioVR  they stated that their system 's performance is comparable to these pro grade inertial  motion that cost 60 000 to 80 000 dollars and this for less than 400 dollars.

well...i pledged the project and i will get this and give it try if interested you can get more info here

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/yeitechnology/priovr-suit-up-game-on

 

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This was discussed on the ipisoft forums a while back. It looks good though I recall the overall cost being somewhat higher in order to have enough sensors?

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ah i will take a look at this discussioni i am trying to read anything bout this system ^^ well...i already purchased one kinect sensor for 100 dollars and if i go for some other purchases i think ill have to pay aproximatively same amount ? the suit i pludged is the pro VR which includes 16 sensors + 1 wireless hub as sensor +base station and 2 controllers  its wireless so no space limitation

and all straps included and its way enough to capture animations from head to feet even most complex...now i just have to take the RISK and test it -smile-

:matte-motes-evil-grin: to be continued....

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