High precision motion capture allows facility to balance government research with visually demanding entertainment projects
Vicon, developer of motion capture systems for the entertainment, life science and engineering industries, recently installed a new motion capture system equipped with Vicon's T160 16-megapixel cameras at central-Paris-based Mocaplab. Founded in 2007 by renowned motion capture specialist Remi Brun, Mocaplab offers complete motion capture and animation services for films, television, commercials, video games, arts and sciences.
"With our new Vicon setup, we get amazing clarity at 16 million pixels and the Blade software is infinitely better than anything we have ever used in the past," said Brun. "A lot of what we do focuses on accurately conveying the emotions of the performers so facial and eye capture as well finger movement are important to get just right. Our new Vicon cameras allow us to capture these subtleties, not only in a traditional studio but also in places not necessarily dedicated to mocap, outdoors or in the field—anywhere. The rig itself is so efficient that we're able to tackle more ambitious and diverse projects."
Mocaplab is a company made up of both artists and scientists. The team has been working in mocap for more then 18 years, on projects such as Renaissance, The Prodigies, Blackhole and Eve Solal with actors including Sean Connery, Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau and others. On the scientific side, Mocaplab dedicates a substantial amount of time and resources in R&D to get the most out of their equipment.
They have partnered with the French government on several large projects, developing and perfecting facial, eye and finger capture processes for their lab research that ultimately benefits their entertainment clients as well.
Recent and ongoing projects in place with the new Vicon system include a series of animated shorts for a Bastien Dubois television project, who earned an Academy Award® nomination for his work on the short film Carnet de Voyage, and mocap work on commercials for brands such as AMEX, L'Oreal and Hyundai. Brun also contributed mocap to the high profile Dior J'Adore commercial starring Charlize Theron and, through the magic of VFX, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich. Several motion capture feature films are also currently in development at the studio. In additional to traditional mocap work, Mocaplab creates breathtaking mobile sculptures of light inspired by motion capture point cloud data, selected for exhibition in the Art Gallery at Siggraph 2012 in Los Angeles
"We will try pretty much anything that involves mocap, regardless of the challenge for clients across film, gaming, advertising, science and art," Brun continued. "While we do plenty of traditional mocap and animation, the French market is quite open to experimental films so we can be more daring with our work. We tend to favor more artistic projects rather than photorealistic rendering. There is still so much to do with mocap films. This is just the beginning. Because the Vicon system is so versatile, the stylistic choices are vast."