Long time no post eh? I’m currently working on a lot of stuff. Big thing, new business: Get Warmer, LLC letsgetwarmer.com so i’m selling mocap data and other goodies! so to help market this i’m working on a Dark Souls-like demo with some capture data. Its still pretty early but here is some funny clips from this weeks shoot.
So at the end of 2014 I was capturing dancers for an installation project run by a group of Drexel University professors. The piece isn’t done but it should be a great one. Dancers responded to poetry with improv dance in the mocap studio. The data will then be used to generate some abstract imagery and animations that will be played over the dancers as they respond to the same poetry but months later. Its been an interesting project to work on. I just wrapped on cleaning the data (8 dancers at about 45 minutes a piece was tough by myself) so I thought I’d post up some Instagram videos I took during them. I’ll try and take some more when the piece is complete! Until then I’m gearing up to teach the mocap class again this spring term. My second syllabus rewrite, I’m feeling good about it.
Oops haven’t updated this blog in a hot minute. Summer has been pretty busy. Graduated in June, spent a month freaking out about work and now I’m knee deep in projects.
First off is my personal project, a rhythm based fighting game working with Greg of Dumb and Fat and Dain Saint of Cipher Prime. Greg is programming gameplay, Dain is composing the music and I’m providing character art and animation. Greg and I team up on design and extraneous art. We all have other work so this is slow going but I’m really hype about it. Its gonna be big.
Next is my real paid grown up video game job. Sorta. I’m working as a dev at Philadelphia Game Lab. I primarily work with the Kinect V2 for Windows, making little games and demos for potential clients. Artists and theater folk wanna use this cool tech but don’t know what it can do and the lab has been doing a bad job getting through the tech jargon to explain it. So games speak louder than words! I made a quick demo in which two players with xbox controllers are trapped in a wheel that the kinect player can turn like a pirate ship steering wheel. The kinect player tries to spin it and get a ball in a hoop and the players inside try to play goalie while getting flung around. Its pretty quick and dirty but I am moving onto something cool and bigger. And with SPACE PIRATES! Shout out to Space for Unity asset guys!
finally I’m getting back into my true love Mocap! I’ll be teaching two sections of the motion capture class at Drexel University in the fall! WOW SIX HOURS OF TEACHING WHAT AM I DOING EVEN. Sike it’ll be great. Its really great being on the ground floor of training this army of mocap animators and techs. Gives me hope for the future of building some big studio in Philly! I got my syllabus approved and start teaching in September. On top of that I’ll be leading a small team on an experimental mocap art project with dancers and crazy projections and 3D printing (???). So that’ll be fun. All this and I’ve still been hitting the gym 4 or 5 days a week and making it to Philly Dev Night every week and Creative Mornings every month, come say hi!. If you don’t hit your pillow at the end of the day completely exhausted then you didn’t have a good day!
So for my senior project game we needed some serious skating animations so I brought in 3 very talented Philly skaters and tried a lot of things out. I got basic movement, turning and riding very easily. Much like with running I had them try and go fast and just ride out of the volume and reenter it before cutting. The trouble was getting them to land tricks. It was tough for them to get enough speed to perform the trick and land all in the diagonal of the volume. I just let the cameras roll and had them go back and forth doing the same move a few times and will try to splice together the best takes of take off, trick and landing. I made an attempt to capture the board as a prop, but do to the skater’s foot placement changing it was impossible to get a spot where it wouldn’t swap with their feet or fall off if the board didn’t land perfectly. Luckily for our purposes in the game, their feet will likely be locked to the board with and IK solver and be more similar to a snowboard. I’m looking forward to combing through these 5 gigs of animations.
So i’ve written up another tutorial on mocap stuff. This time it is actually getting the system calibrated and start capturing. So i wrote this from memory and not while actually going through it so hopefully there aren’t any errors since SOMEBODY from a certain HIGHFALUTIN motion capture studio had to STEAL THE WAVE WAND.
Recently I’ve gotten into Motion Capture a lot, hoping to do a lot with it for an upcoming game. Can’t wait to see what I’ll be able to do with these Vicon cameras and Mecanim in Unity, more on that later though. For now I wrote up a PDF on how to start doing some cleaning and solving in Vicon Blade 2. It is a really powerful and easy software and this tutorial will help get rid of noise and popping in animations before you bring them into MoBu, Maya, Unity or whatever you fancy. I learned a lot of this from my good friend Glenn Winters so check him out at http://glennwinters.com/. I will be doing more things like this involving capturing data, bringing it into different software packages, and maybe dealing with Mecanim, but the Unity docs are pretty great on that stuff so that’ll be last if it happens.
Woo! ran some test captures for an upcoming project. we have an amazing mocap studio, but it still has its limitations. so before we get real actors set up my buddy Brian agreed to suit up. i might be making some tutorials and junk for Blade 2.0, MoBu and HumanIK. dunno what the demand is like for that kinda thing.