February 26, 2018

Blessing or Curse, Motion Capture: Part One

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15.02.2018, by Elena Van der Baan

A Great Technique?

Motion Capture is a technique and term used for centuries that we all have probably seen without noticing. The first interest for this technique was to study and examine the movement of humans and animals. In the 20th century, Hollywood decided to experiment with it. This method also known as ‘Performance capture’, is used in many animation movies which are now blockbusters.

This technique can be produced with people wearing a lycra suit with ping pong balls attached which are then detected by a computer to record movement. Motion capture in the late 20th century has been used in various fields such as sports, bio-mechanics, education and also video games such as the Prince of Persia

Early Motion Capture Movies

One of the first creations using motion capture was made by Max Fleischer in 1915, the Rotoscope, a device which allows the projection of live actions and transform them into cartoon animation. The device frames the movement of the actors into a cartoon character. Fleischer was then followed by Disney, whom using a live-action reference created Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, by filming the actors in a normal scene and afterwards translating it into animation.

After the production of Sleeping Beauty, motion capture slowed down for several decades, until finally Ralph Bakshi, in 1978, used rotoscoping for the animation process of Lord of the Rings

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