Software Designer Turns Kinect into Cheap Motion Capture Rig

Software Designer Turns Kinect into Cheap Motion Capture Rig

It's out with spandex and in with motion controllers as a Dutch developer brings motion capture to the masses.

Jasper Brekelmans, a software designer who works for a company in Amsterdam that specializes in motion-capture and character animation, has converted a Kinect sensor into a cheap, but effective mo-cap rig.

Brekelmans' tool actually comes in multiple parts. The base program takes an image from the sensor and turns it into a 3D point could, which is effectively a three-dimensional map of the area. Using this information, the NITE middleware - created by PrimeSense, who also made the 3D sensor technology in Kinect itself - generates a 3D skeleton, and then streams it via a custom build plug-in to the Motion Builder animation software.

Brekelmans said that his tool is very much in the alpha stage, and is essentially just a proof of concept at the moment, but added that if a lot of people showed interest in it, he'd consider putting it on his blog. If Brekelmans does release it, it could be quite the boon for smaller or independent developers and animators, as motion capture can be prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Obviously, the results won't be of the same standard as the proper equipment, but it will be still be a big step up for people who previously couldn't use mo-cap at all.

Source: Kotaku

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sweet lets hope to see this give amateur animators a new tool to make more realistic moving characters :D

That would greatly help animators who can't afford the big mocap rooms, think of the new indie games that could come from this. Better yet custom touchdown dances or specialized teabags for halo or cod.

As a person from the Netherlands myself, this news does me proud.

Love it how Kinect is offering multiple demographics/people a cheap yet effective alternative for their professional needs. Keep it up guys!

This will make making my game animations so much simpler and it will actually give me a reason to go out and buy a bloody kinect. I pray for a free beta in the next 3-6 months if not sooner. Hell I'll even pay money for the program up to 40 US dollars if i have to!

i was wondering when this would happen... finally!... the future is nearly upon us :)

Funny, some friends of mine were toying with the idea of turning the Kinect into a makeshift mocap camera for our upcoming video game projects. Here's to hoping Brekelmans pulls if off.

I've been talking to my friends for a long time now about possibly hacking Kinect to do mo-cap. The range of motion is quite limited now, but perhaps with four or so cameras.... *evil grin*

As soon as I first heard of the Kinect not needing a mcguffin for you to waggle, I was hoping for this. Dreaming of this.
I thought it would never come to life, though- I mean, I've also been wanting to use motion controls to sculpt in a new, intuitive way, but that never came true.

When I heard of the various Kinect-to-mocap programs, especially open-source projects, I was ecstatic!

 

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