With the surge of new A.I. this and A.I. that, we find ourselves at an age of technology that is moving faster than we can react. But in all the shuffle, something exciting has sprouted. Rokoko, the motion capture technology company, has produced a new addition to their arsenal and it's free for everyone. And if that is not good enough, what if I tell you that you can go from acting to animating in under 5 minutes?
Rokoko is a Danish brand of consumer motion capture and animation technology products. Their latest project is software known simply as, Rokoko Video, the company's suit-less solution to motion capture backed by the power of A.I.
So what is it and how does it work?
Rokoko Video in conjunction with the Rokoko Studio software, their motion capture data editor, allows you to either record yourself live via webcam or upload a prerecorded video. The tool detects your body kinematics in 3D space and analyzes motion frame to frame. Once the performance is uploaded to the cloud, it can be viewed in Rokoko Studio. You can then choose a series of options to alter and clean up the processed data depending on its use (animated films, video games, and more.) From here you, you can export the mocap performance to the desired file type for delivery.
To get started, below are the steps to get yourself moving in digital space.
Step 1 : Setting the scene
To actualize your idea, you will need a stage to act. This could be as simple as an open space in your room with a fairly uniform background. Be sure to move any obstacles or furniture from the active area.
Ample and consistent lighting is also important; in order for the camera to capture your movements properly, and by extension the software, the light needs to be bright enough to separate the actor from the background elements.
Similar to your setting, the actor should wear lightly colored fabric, free of patterns or graphics. Loose fitting clothes also obscure the accuracy of tracking their motion.
Step 2 : Capturing your moment
This is your time to shine, but make sure to stay within the frame of your camera. Any portion of the actor clipping the edge of your image could misalign any motion tracking and possibly cause the process to fail overall. It is recommended to start with a neutral pose such as a T-pose at the beginning and end of each performance. A T-pose is simply standing upright with your arms stretched outward.
Using a tripod or stand to hold your camera still is optimal.
Step 3 : Processing your image
Now that you have your content, create a new scene. Multiple animations/clips can be produced in this scene as needed.
Once your new scene is established, simply drag your video clip to the upload panel. This will take a moment as it uploads to the cloud.
You will find start and stop points at each end of your clip; these handles tell the tool where you want it to track activity. Adjust as needed.
When you are happy with your selections, you click the 'turn into animation' button to start motion capture process.
Processing your video to mocap is arguably the easiest portion of the steps for the user, on the opposite end, this is the heavy lifting from the tool itself. Depending on the size of your video, the processing takes several minutes. When all is done, you'll receive a message directing you to open your project in Rokoko Studio.
Within Rokoko Studio, you will find your mocap animation along with options to adjust parameters such as foot-lock, locomotion, toe bend, and more.
When you are satisfied with your animation, you will find a myriad of options to customize your export. Whatever may be your final animation software of choice, Rokoko Video should be able to have you up and animated in no-time.