best mocap solution for artist

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  09 September 2012
best mocap solution for artist

what is the most user friendly mocap system out right now? i looked in ipi soft and brekel. Both seem to be new solution to the market. I am curious as i want to do a project with both body and facial mocap, i want know the feasibility of this as I am one of maybe 1 or 2 artist working on it. I know facerobot is available, but i heard its not user friendly. Anyone have suggestions as to the best off the shelf solution thats both easy to use and gets good results?
  09 September 2012
If you want an actual system to learn with and as stepping stone to something larger i'd suggest optiTrack. From the stuff i've seen it looks like an amazing solution to start with, great customer support etc. And puts you on a great footing towards systems like Vicon etc.

If your doing homebrew mocap, and don't have much expense look at ipiSoft, brekel etc - but know these are niche software applications and are really to get a base for a final piece of animation. They can be finicky to set up and there may be lots of manual work.

I'd always suggest trying to learn in the current domain to get a good grounding - currently its reflective markers on a suit that are picked up via triangulation from cameras. There is ofcourse active IR, and markerless (organic motion), but the industry standard is optical currently.

There is currently to my knowledge no open source optical marker mocap solution - if there was it would have to cover hardware and software.
Disclaimer: My opinions are not those of my employer.

  09 September 2012
Optitrack is pretty good. I had one myself once upon a time and it captured great stuff!

IPisoft is cheap with descent quality and you can't really lose much with brekel, it is free.
  09 September 2012
I agree - Optitrack is a GREAT solution especially for first-time mocap work. I knew nothing about motion capture tech - other than what you see in the "Making of" sections of DVD's - but the Optitrack system was easy to set up and easy to use and perfect for starting out using mocap. Of course the price isn't too cheap when considering ipiSoft or the free brekel, but it does work as advertised. And depending on your 3D software, you may need a retargeting app like Motion Builder to get the mocap into your 3D software of choice.

Do you have a workflow in mind?
  09 September 2012
optitrack is out of my budget, to get it up and running its about 10k. So not likely, I am looking at realistically under or around a thousand to spend on software and hardware. anyone have experience using cheap off the shelf solutions?
  09 September 2012
What are your needs exactly ?

There's no magic bullet and cheap means doing compromises in one way or another.

For simple movements (single actor mostly facing the camera, not going too far away nor too fast) you can get away with a kinect stuff. But for multiple actors, real-time, complex and or fast moves, face or prop capture etc... you need to look elsewhere because of occlusions or framerate problems, and the price ramps up quickly.

Under/around 1000 euro/dollars you do have Ipi soft or a Kinect based solution but the range of movements is limited (a bit less with dual kinect systems but still), and you can only do full body motion capture in a 2m by 3m rectangle more or less. No props, no face (yet), no hands.

iclone5 pro also has a mocap plugin with kinect and they licenced Autodesk human Ik to smooth and retarget the motion. Haven't tried it yet though. With the 3Dexchange pipeline version they say you can import/export fbx and bvh motions.

By all means, if you go with kinect, start with brekel, it's free (+cost of kinect).

You also have rebanrobotics Mycapstudio which has a free lite version and a cheap full version. Markerbased with 2 cameras. I'm going to try it soon.

You can also try a camera tracker with mocap abilities from multiple cameras, like syntheyes or PFTrack, but you will only capture moving points, so you actually have to build/match the skeleton yourself. Flexible, but not very easy to start with.

For complexe moves, you're probably better off repurposing/retargeting third party off-the shelf moves with mixamo or something similar.
  09 September 2012
thanks for the additional info, i will look into rebanrobotics Mycapstudio, it seems pretty interesting.
  09 September 2012
Maskarad by dio-o-matic 1500 dollars for the pro package. seems to produce average results.

zign... seems kinda of amateurish. product detail not clear

ipi soft.. bodytracking only. not facial tracking available.

metamotion. seems to have a few product developing at the moment.

faceware, seems to have good results, but requires expensive hardware, such as head cam.

captivemotion, these guys seem to produce really good results. but the setup is requires hundreds of markers and of course headcam.

brekel. as mentioned facial mocap only
  09 September 2012
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