We're big fans of IKinema and its unique ability to save artists from the heartache of confronting the tricky and often time-consuming task of motion capture. We came across a great article on the CG Channel blog this week that we just had to share with you all.
Faced with the challenge of creating three individual Cyclops characters, all performed by the same actor, Framestore (London studio) was able to take advantage of IKinema’s Action to tackle their motion capture needs during production on Wrath of the Titans. Martin Bayfield, former international rugby player, was cast for the mocap shoot, and at 6’10” you can see why he was deemed the best candidate for the job. Eager to avoid the traditional ‘mo-capped’ feel, which has been a diminishing factor in regards to motion capture in the past, the team at Framestore armed themselves with a stronger and more dynamic pipeline with the superior solver and animation toolset found in Action.
In an interview with Nico Scapel, Head of Rigging at Framestore, he explains that “the real challenge is to get the most accurate and truthful reproduction of the actors’ motion.” When the team at Framestore overlaid IKinema’s solver with calibrated witness camera footage, they could quickly review how well the solver matched the actors’ movement. One of the great advantages when working with IKinema’s software is that it gives developers control from a much earlier stage in the process, allowing them to work ‘under the skin’ of assets to manipulate and fix a models behaviour if required. Nico goes on to discuss that; “the key to great mocap is how you give it to animation. Many studios have a mocap department which has a large motion editing team – they cannot do technical animation – and they fiddle with the mocap to make it work in the shots and then it goes to Animation, who are often less than thrilled with what they get. We wanted to give as close to possible to the raw performance to the animators and to let them work it up from there.”
IKinema’s technology was developed for fast full-body solving and animation. Utilised here in London by studios such as Framestore and the pre-visualisation department at Twentieth Century Fox, this software lets animators rig, stream, record and retarget motion capture data more efficiently. If you haven’t already checked out what this tool can do, take a closer look.
For a more detailed insight into the VFX work done on the Wrath of the Titans production, check out a wonderfully in-depth breakdown on the CG Channel blog. Definitely worth a read.