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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:24 pm
Posts: 2
Hello everybody, I am working on a video game mod right now and im wondering if Ipi DMC is the best route to go for our animation, we have some basic first and 3rd person cutscenes, deaths, weapon firing animations, sitting, wallking, idle positons and hand motions. Were a pretty low budget production team and we were wondering how long does it take to process an animation like say, a person being shot and dieing dramatically? Is there an easyier route for mocap? Can we just insert the four video clips into the program, pose the 3d model and it will process the animation in a certain amount of time? Do we need IPI Recorder?

All answers and help is very appreciated!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:55 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:27 am
Posts: 35
Location: france
Ipisoft is a great solution for those things you describe, after a test periode, you will be able to do it quickly, i assure you.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:01 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:37 pm
Posts: 104
you will need ipi recorder, it's part of the suite.

You can't just get a number of videos from any cameras and load them in and hope for the best, they need to be in a single avi file with all the camera data in one file. Yes you could do a LOT of work to combine the output from different video cameras but sync issues and just sheer effort of doing it would be futile.

The PS3 cameras can be bought for about $30 and you'll want between 3 to 6 of them depending on how much money you have for the version of ipi DMC and how complex the animations are. More cameras = better accuracy (all other factors being equal).

You might even find that the single Kinect camera will work for a lot of animations where there's no turning around or hiding of body limbs. If you can adjust your acting, it's a great item, i've been having a lot of fun with the Kinect because it's simple to capture and fast to get results. Using 6 cameras on stands and the set up time, effort and enthusiasm requires that bit more dedication which I don't always have :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2346
Location: Los Angeles
I second everything djtaylor just wrote. :)

I would like to add that, while iPi Studio is by far the easiest mocap system and the least expensive for the quality of data you get, it's also a fairly big commitment. Make sure you can reserve a space and devote a lot of time to do your sessions. With practice, planning, and realistic expectations, capturing and tracking the motions you need can be easy and predictable. For me personally, iPi Studio has far exceeded my expectations from just a couple of years ago when I was thinking of using if for shakey machinima style and previs quality animation. After version 1.0 came out, my opinion changed and now I feel that it's fully capable of creating professional quality mocap data. But this of course depends on what you need and how much effort you're willing to put into refining the data.

If you can borrow four PS3 Eye cameras, using the demo will be the best way to learn if this system will be appropriate for you. For up to 30 days, the trial version is fully functional and will export data you can use in a 3D program or game engine. If you use collada, you can use DMC to retarget your data for your game engine. If you need to edit the data, you can use Animeeple (free) or Motion Builder ($$$).

Alternatively, you might want to look into the various mocap libraries that can be found on the web. Some are free, some cost money, and the quality varies quite a bit, but a lot of the motion you describe sound fairly common and probably already exist. You can use a program like Animeeple to retarget the data to your rigs for other programs.

Hope this helps.

G.

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Last edited by Greenlaw on Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:43 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
I said you should borrow four PS3 cameras but of course you could optionally borrow a single Kinect camera. I'm guessing that the Kinect won't be able to capture all the actions you might want for a game (my experience is just with using the PS3 cameras) but a single Kinect camera is probably easier to borrow than four to six PS3 cameras.

Good luck!

G.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:37 pm
Posts: 104
I'd say the most outstanding thing with the Kinect is that there's no calibration to do or get wrong. Yes you have to be mindful of the type of movement you can do but I can pop this thing in the kitchen and 5 minutes later i'm tracking the captured video. It's THAT fast to get results and with a good graphics card, maybe 30 minutes later i'm popping out several short animations.

All said, I bought 3 PS3 cameras to use with the trial. If figured $60 was a safer investment if I couldn't get results before spending $1000. I could have always sold the cameras.

However there is a "but"... the more cameras the more demanding the hardware required to capture (and process). I had results with 3 PS3's on an up to date laptop for capture but more than that and it choked.

Now I capture to SSD with 6 cameras and even the Kinect is a lot of data so that needs to be feeding a fast machine too. 2 minutes of kinect capture is about 3GB of data.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:57 pm
Posts: 19
Greenlaw wrote:
I said you should borrow four PS3 cameras but of course you could optionally borrow a single Kinect camera.


Don't even have to do that.
In the gallery are sample calibration and walk videos if you just want to evaluate how the software could work in your pipeline.

djtaylor wrote:
...I can pop this thing (Kinect) in the kitchen and 5 minutes later i'm tracking the captured video.


It's true, the Kinect is HUGELY convenient despite its limitations. It's easy to start imagining a multiple Kinect setup for that perfect low cost mocap solution, but there's that pesky IR interference thing. Seems you can only use one... which goes back to that pesky occlusion thing.

Still, I recommend that even if you have a multiple camera setup, adding the Kinect is a good idea.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:55 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2346
Location: Los Angeles
Tentacle wrote:
...but there's that pesky IR interference thing. Seems you can only use one... which goes back to that pesky occlusion thing.

Michael announced in another post that after they release the final version of the Kinect feature they will work on head tracking and then support for two Kinects. Yay! (For me, that cheer is more for head tracking but others here I'm sure will appreciate the dual-Kinect feature.)

Quote:
Still, I recommend that even if you have a multiple camera setup, adding the Kinect is a good idea.

We just got our Kinect today and I hope to test it out this week. We mainly got it for convenience for when we need a relatively simple action really fast and we don't have time to got out and set up for a full six camera shoot. In theory anyway, I have to agree...having both systems on-hand could be a good idea.

Being able to make direct comparisons between the two setups is certainly going to be interesting. I'll post my thoughts soon.

G.

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