Motion Capturing

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Animation is a uniquely expressive art form: it provides the creator with control over both the appearance and the movement of characters and objects. This gives artists tremendous freedom, which when well used, can create works with tremendous impact. This freedom, however, also becomes a curse: while everything can be controlled, everything must be controlled. Control over the movement of objects is a difficult task, requiring skill and labor.?
Since the earliest days of the art form, animators have observed the movement of real creatures in order to create animated motion. Sometimes, this simply take the form of an artist carefully observing nature for Inspiration. Another process IS to transfer the movement from a recording of the movement to the animated objects. The earliest mechanism for doing this was the Rotoscope, a device that projected frames of film onto the animator's workspace, providing the animator with a guide for their drawings.
Motion capturing is used by production companies in movies like Titanic, The Matrix and The Mummy. On television motion capture is used to generate real time character animations and in the gaming industry to create more realistic-game play. The drawback of this method is the lack of an industry wide standard for archiving and exchanging motion. Thus motion capturing can be defined as the process of capturing live motion of a person in order to animate a virtual character. Among the many challenges headed, the most critical element in the creation of digital humans was the replication of human motion. Motion capture technology was used for it.

Motion capture technology is a good example of how digital techniques are being applied to the movie (and related) industries to allow more convincing visualizations of imaginary or composite images. For motion capture you use human actors who are dressed in a leotard with integral reflective or magnetic markers. The actor performs the actions that are required, and the digital cameras - or array of cameras - capture the motion of the reflective markers.

Computer Processing with Human Intervention

You subject the data to a computer process that converts this motion into a composite figure. You then modify this composite figure by normal computer animation software.

The end product gives the effect of animated character acting directly with human actors. Gollum, in the Lord of the Rings, was shot in this fashion, giving an absolutely life-like image of a composite character. That guy on the left here? That would be Gollum, or at least the movements of Gollum.
Motion capturing techniques are very effective, but the computer processing needs much human intervention, and if there is any error in the data, you can find it more effective to re-shoot the whole scene rather than correct the data. However, motion capture technology is so much more effective and realistic than traditional techniques, and ultimately less time consuming, that its future looks assured in movies and in video games.

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