Accelerate Animation | Motion, captured
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Motion, captured

Major developments! I recently spent a day at Bath University’s CAMERA, a new research centre for motion capture, with choreographer and performer Fernanda Munoz-Newsome. We had 11 dance pieces that we wanted to capture, and only a day to do it, so we took the earliest reasonable train from Paddington. When we arrived we met Darren Cosker, reader in Computer Science at the university and my initial point of contact, and Martin Parsons, our facilitator for the capture process.


This is Martin preparing the space by waving his LED calibration wand. It reminds me of the old house cleansing technique, where a smouldering sage brush is waved around the doorways and corners of a room, to purify unwanted spirits. Meanwhile Fernanda prepared herself, warming up and stretching.
After the calibration ritual, it was time for Fernanda to get into costume:


One of the 12 cameras is visible in the background – these emit light which is reflected by the markers on the suit and then recaptured, making it possible to triangulate the position of all the markers. There’s some work to be done cleaning up the data, for example where ‘occlusion’ occurs and the markers become hidden by the performer’s body.
It was a long day and we didn’t finish until well into the evening, but managed to record a good take of all the dances. Many thanks to Martin for all his help, and staying late on a Friday! And of course to Fernanda – those suits are not comfortable to wear! I can’t wait to get the cleaned up data back and start to share the results here.


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