Full body virtual reality with Oculus Rift and Xsens

Yesterday, we tested with Tobias Baumann, game designer and freelancer, the Oculus Rift with our Xsens MVN in Unity 3D. The goal was to virtually hit columns of cubes and balloons. Some simple applications to start with, but resulting in a nice full-body immersive VR experience. The first tests were convincing. We will definitely continue working on this topic with Tobias. Stay tuned!


Winter sports motion capture

Winter sports motion capture

Sochi 2014 – the next Winter Olympic Games – is coming soon… For us, it was the opportunity to motion capture several winter sports! Indeed, we were contacted by Kenzan Technologies for the making of a 3D animation requiring different short captures of professional athletes. We spent a weekend in Zermatt to acquire the necessary data. The weather conditions were not on our side, -15° at the top, snow falls, zero visibility, not really the best conditions to go skiing with our Xsens system and a computer on the slopes! After experiencing a lot of issues, especially because of the cold, we were finally able to obtain good animation data during the weekend. We captured four athletes in the following disciplines: Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboard.

Back in Geneva, we captured three additional people to complete our sample of winter sports: ice hockey, speed skating and bobsleigh. Now you are wondering… Is there a bobsleigh slope in Geneva? Well of course, there isn’t! But with some tricks, a good carpenter and a little practice, it is possible to produce the illusion… Note that for this last capture, it was not necessary to have a professional athlete!

Hockey Mocap SnowBoard Mocap Ski Mocap

Bread mocap – A tribute to Charlie Chaplin

Bread mocap – A tribute to Charlie Chaplin

We were recently contacted to perform the motion capture for an upcoming short movie entitled “The Great Imitator” created by Boris Beer. This short animated movie will be a tribute to Charlie Chaplin. Without giving too much details, the goal of the shooting was to capture some iconic scenes of Chaplin’s most famous movies.

For example, the first scene we captured was the one from The Great Dictator where Chaplin plays with an inflatable globe. We also had to capture the famous nut screwing scene from Modern Times as well as some scenes from The Kid. Fabrice Bessire (the actor) did a great job reinterpreting Chaplin in those scenes.

Finally, among the selected scenes was the famous “Bread roll dance” from The Gold Rush. In this scene, Charlie Chaplin creates a small ballet by giving life to two forks and two bread roll in order to entertain his friends. As you can see on the pictures, this capture required a very specific and unique bread motion capture setup (patent pending!).

We will talk again about this short film when it will be finished. Stay tuned!

The famous bread roll dance from The Gold Rush Bread Mocap Charlie Chaplin Mocap

Mocap in the dark

Setup for the project "Motion and unconsciousness"Last week we tested the motion capture protocol for the research project Motion and unconsciousness. The setup is uncommon: subjects are asked to execute movements in the dark while still being able to see the other participant’s hands thanks to phosphorescent tape. They are also equipped with a respiration sensor and headphones with white noise to be isolated from external stimuli.

100 volunteers will participate to the study and be distributed in different groups according to specific criteria. One group will also be captured with simultaneous EEG recording. The goal of the project is to compare the subjective sensation of synchrony with objective data of motor coordination and synchronization acquired from motion capture when two people are engaged in joint action tasks.


Mocap and fluoroscopy for Shoulder3D project

Mocap and fluoroscopy for Shoulder3D project

In the context of our project Shoulder3D, we spent a day in radiology to acquire specific data required for the validation of our research methodology. The objective of the project is to develop a new kinematic model to reliably evaluate the three-dimensional motion of the shoulder based on motion capture data. In order to compare the kinematics estimated by our methodology with the real motion of the shoulder bones, we performed a double acquisition. We simultaneously recorded motion capture data using our Vicon system and fluoroscopic images.

As you can see on the pictures below, setting up properly the system in such a confine area and dealing with the occlusions of the fluoroscopic device were the tricky parts of our work!

Mocap in fluoroscopy room

Motion capture of a knight in armor

The Institute of Movement Science and Sport Medicine of the University of Geneva and the Willy Taillard Laboratory of Kinesiology of the University Hospital of Geneva contacted us for an unusual motion capture session. Daniel Jaquet, a PhD student in Humanities, focuses his research on the description of fights in full armor in historical documents from the 16th century. Part of his thesis work aims at analyzing the range of possible movements while wearing such a 30 kg medieval armor. By using motion capture, he will be able to get a comprehensive amount of data.

For this mocap session, the main issue was related to the reflective surface of the armor. Indeed, reflections can be perceived as markers by the camera, introducing a lot of unwanted artefacts. By tuning our MXT40S cameras’ parameters and the reconstruction settings, we were able to solve this issue and collect good data for his study.

Thanks to Stéphane Armand, Alice Bonnefoy and Daniel’s equerry for their help during the mocap session!

Markers attached to the armor Daniel - The Knight Mocap with a medieval armorI