Understanding Motion Capture for Computer Animation discusses the latest technology developments in digital design, film, games, medicine, sports, and security engineering. Motion capture records a live-motion event and translates it into a digital context. It is the technology that converts a live performance into a digital performance. In contrast, performance animation is the actual performance that brings life to the character, even without using technology. If motion capture is the collection of data that represents motion, performance animation is the character that a performer represents. The book offers extensive information about motion capture. It includes state-of-the-art technology, methodology, and developments in the current motion-capture industry. In particular, the different ways to capture motions are discussed, including using cameras or electromagnetic fields in tracking a group of sensors. This book will be useful for students taking a course about digital filming, as well as for anyone who is interested in this topic.

Key Features

  • Completely revised to include almost 40% new content with emphasis on RF and Facial Motion Capture Systems
  • Companion site with source code, motion capture data translator, and example files help you write conversion and motion data manipulation programs
  • Describes all the mathematical principles associated with motion capture and 3D character mechanics
  • Helps you budget by explaining the costs associated with individualized motion capture projects


Professionals involved in 3D animation for games, television, and feature films

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1 Motion Capture Primer     Motion Capture and Performance Animation     History of Performance Animation in the Entertainment Field     Types of Motion Capture     Applications of Motion Capture Chapter 2 Motion Capture Case Studies and Controversy     Digital Humans and the Uncanny Valley     Relevant Motion Capture Accounts Chapter 3 The Motion Capture Session     Deciding to Use Motion Capture     Preparing for the Session     During the Session     Summary Chapter 4 The Motion Data     Motion Data Types and Formats     Writing a Motion Capture Translator Chapter 5 Setting up Your Character     Setting up a Character with Rotational Data     Setting up a Character with Translational Data     Facial Motion Capture     Tips and Tricks Conclusion Appendix A Motion Capture Equipment and Software Manufactures Appendix B Motion Capture Service Providers Appendix C Web Resources Index


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© 2011
Morgan Kaufmann
eBook ISBN:
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"Modern motion capture has proven to be a groundbreaking tool in VFX, when used properly. The latest edition of Understanding Motion Capture will help make sure that you know how and when to use this technology... and perhaps more importantly, when not to use it!" —Scott Stokdyk, Award winning Visual Effects Supervisor