MOTION CAPTURE & ANIMATION

- A low cost Motion Capture solution suitable for applications in animation, game interaction, virtual reality and sports analysis.

BACKGROUND

Back in 2010-12, when I was a researcher in the field of Computer Vision, I developed several feature-tracking and image registration algorithms while working on the Digital Hampi project. In July 2014, I had the opportunity to re-visit this field and use my knowledge to build low-cost Motion Capture technologies using off-the-shelf cameras and depth sensors like the Microsoft Kinect and the Asus Xtion Pro.

Our investors at the time saw commercial potential in this technology, especially in the field of animation, gaming and VR. We turned this into a commercial venture and offered Motion Capture and Animation services to local TV channels and animation start-ups in Bangalore.

MY ROLE

We were a small team of 3 engineers and an artist. I worked mainly on facial performance capture (both marker-based and marker-less) and character animation (rig setup, clean-up and re-targetting).

Marker-based facial performance capture using OpenCV
Facial Rig Setup and Re-targetting process in SoftImage
Marker-less facial performance capture with Re-targetting shown on sample character

I developed several tools, processes and algorithms for facial feature tracking and re-targetting using OpenCV and several open-source libraries. I also learnt how to use popular animation softwares myself, including Autodesk Maya, Motion Builder and SoftImage.

ANIMATION SHOWREEL

This showreel is a compilation of all the animation projects we worked on using our in-house motion capture technology. All assets in this video were created by an in-house team of artists and 3D designers.

We used the video in our client meetings and presentations to showcase our capabilities and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

SERIES PRODUCTION

We also had the opportunity to work on an animation series with Sankara TV, a regional entertainment channel in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Together, we produced the first animation series of 'Bhagwad Gita', an intense spiritual work that forms the cornerstone of Hindu faith and Indian philosophy.

Overall Architecture
A scene from 'Bhagwad Gita' animation series produced for Sankara TV.

Unfortunately, the series did not air on television due to budget constraints. Nevertheless, it was a great experience collaborating with the actors, script writers and animation experts. I learned a lot about animation production through this collaboration.