Understanding Motion Capture for Computer Animation - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780123814968, 9780123814975

Understanding Motion Capture for Computer Animation

2nd Edition

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Authors: Alberto Menache
Paperback ISBN: 9780123814968
eBook ISBN: 9780123814975
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 15th December 2010
Page Count: 276
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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
  • 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

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


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


Appendix A Motion Capture Equipment and Software Manufactures

Appendix B Motion Capture Service Providers

Appendix C Web Resources


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2011
15th December 2010
Morgan Kaufmann
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Alberto Menache

Alberto Menache founded Three Space Imagery, Inc. (TSi), a computer graphics and video game developer, in Los Angeles, where he and his team developed proprietary software for motion capture usage in animation. After selling his software to Motion Analysis Corporation, Menache moved on to Pacific Data Images, a computer graphics industry leader, where he is the lead character technical director at the commercial and film effects division. His latest production credits include the film Forces of Nature, commercials for SEGA, Circle K and Pillsbury, the award-winning music video for TLC's "Waterfalls", and dozens of video games, including Dark Ridge, Messiah and Soul Blade.


"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

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