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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:37 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:16 am
Posts: 101
wondering if anyone has mocapped not only actors but actors that are engaging the environment they're acting in. Things like opening doors, leaning against walls, sitting in the driver seat of a car. I'm looking back over production of some video games by Naughty Dog and Quantic Dream to see that they have a lot of hollow-ness and basic props in their sets. Wondering if anyone out there has had experience recording while taking into account the "world interaction" aspect of making DIY props. Part of me is feeling like I should get familiar with PVC plumbing parts, but not sure how far I need to go if recording with deliberate references to the world can be made without making a bunch of stuff that I'd rather not.

Anyone got a sample of acting against a wall? Opening a door? A door a can see faking to a degree but not the stability of leaning against a wall. Since we're all here without suits, wondering if there's a method to hat I should approach in recording.

As luck would have it, where i live, there's a chain linked fence between my home and our neighbor. It's hollow. Recording an actor leaning against that might work well....if the bastard didn't flex so much.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:19 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:47 am
Posts: 893
Location: Florida USA
...

You are correct, you have to try to use the smallest barrier between you and the cameras, so do they that you showed in the images, but with that high end system they will always get better results.

PVC structuring I have found to work very well and I have mounted flat surfaces to the tops of tripods for counters, bookshelves and bar tops, really anything you need to act like was a solid topped surface, but it's not an actual solid structure, so you have to work with it accordingly.

As long as you have 3 or more cameras that can see the full actor to maintain the triangulation needed, you can lean your lower back against a more solid lower object like a desk and then use some upper body improvisation to get the effect, you can also set up the cameras for a specific shot to include more areas of the performer as needed, but I wouldn't worry with all that, just adjust the performances and structures used in scene.

Seated at a table like shown is a bit different when recording with iPi than that type markered system, as you can not remove bones being tracked with iPi, you would just have to remove all the legs and below data later in an external editor, in a sense, freezing the lower body below the hips, but that could cause other issues that would need manual clean up.

...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
I've used PVC and Nerf swords as props with success. It's all good so long as the volume of the object isn't occluding the body too much--Mocap Studio is actually pretty good at figuring out what to ignore if it can see enough of the human form in the cloud.

For larger, solid 'environment' props, like seats, I've had good luck with using the software's background subtraction. For example, I like to use a drummer's stool because it has a single post for minimal occlusion, and it's very sturdy. Additionally, it can swivel, which can be useful for some motions.

If you have the stool in position during the Background subtraction step, it will 'remove' the stool from the capture data. However, keep in mind that it may still occlude the body even if it is 'invisible' the to point cloud. This is why you won't want to use a more voluminous seat like a living room recliner or sofa.

I also like to use a microphone stand with a boom (but without the microphone of course) to insert a physical 'touch point' in the environment. For example, if the actor needs to reach for something 'on a wall' or 'in the air' or the actor needs a point to focus his eyeline and attention, you can use the end of the boom for that point. The mic stand and boom are thin enough that they shouldn't interfere with the capture quality.

I hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:58 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:22 am
Posts: 4
Hi Greenlaw, asking about your recommendation of a drummer's stool... Would it be better to get one with chrome framework, or black? I wonder if the reflective chrome frame in the room will confuse the Kinect 2 sensors in my setup.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:48 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
That's a good question. It probably doesn't matter since the volume it occupies will be subtracted from the space. Just a couple of suggestions if you have trouble:

1. If you're using depth sensors, black will absorb the IR rays so, in this case anyway, that's probably a good thing. Chrome may be more likely to report errors but that might not matter here. If you have problems with it, you can always drape a small blanket or towel around the chrome.

2. I know you have Kinect but if you were using PS3 Eye or other video devices, you'll want to avoid chrome anywhere. When using video cameras, iPi depends on seeing motion and light, so any movement reflected in the chrome might produce errors. If you wind up with chrome, try it out and drape something over the chrome if there are problems.

Hope this helps.

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Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:41 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:22 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for your reply, Greenlaw. There seems to be a better choice of chrome-framed stools and I figure a can of matte black spray paint can fix if we have any problems.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:43 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2342
Location: Los Angeles
One consideration: Assuming you're using two depth sensors, you'll want to position them to get the most complete view of the performer on the stool. So, you probably want to avoid placing one sensor in front and one in back because the stool is probably going to interfere with more of the legs. It might be more effective to place the sensors to the sides, probably favoring the front a little more than back.

BTW, at the following link, there's a pic of me using a drummer's throne to capture motion for an Asylum 'SyFy' movie I freelanced on years ago:

Fake Airborne Mocap

I did this to create 'digital stunt doubles' of actors being 'launched from a natural water slide into a cavern'. Using iPi Mocap Studio, I was able to quickly animate the five actors for the sequence. Ordinarily, I wouldn't have had time for this because these movies are made very cheaply and quickly, and hand-animating the rigs would have taken way too much of my time.

I think the movie was called Age of Ice 2? Something like that. I'll see if I can dig up some demo footage for the sequence when I have time. (Note: Any 'snowy' footage you see on my 2015 reel is from the movie, but unfortunately the footage I just described isn't on that reel. However, iPi Mocap Studio was used in some of the other shots on that reel.)

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Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

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Watch a one minute excerpt on Vimeo now!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:59 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:22 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the tips. Yep we already have Kinect 2 cameras set up like so... http://docs.ipisoft.com/User_Guide_for_Multiple_Depth_Sensors_Configuration#First_configuration

Looks like you had fun capturing your airbourne characters.


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