3D Animator

Motion Capture Study

Motion Capture Study

Through a self-directed digital art course, I decided to learn as much of the motion capture pipeline as I could manage in one semester.

 Proposed schedule for the 15 week semester (August - December).

Proposed schedule for the 15 week semester (August - December).

The Planning Stage

By using Carnegie Mellon's on-campus motion capture studio and cooperation with an actor through the School of Drama, my goal is to have a polished 20-30 second acting piece for my demo reel at the end of the semester with motion capture for body, and hand-keyed animation for the face and hands. After some advice from faculty mentors Ricardo Washington and Ruth Comley, I decided that I would not choose the scene to be acted out. Rather, I would present a selection of scenes, and let the student I worked with decide the scene they would like to try. It would also be good professional practice for me in that regard, and would hopefully allow the actor to put more of themselves into the data capture sessions. 

I have a working knowledge of keyframe animation in Maya, so I took time to study MotionBuilder tutorials before .

Michael is confronted by Connie, who accuses him of having her husband killed. He denies killing Carlo when questioned by Kay, an answer she accepts. Targeted line for motion capture: 2:48 - 3:12

  Motion Capture Actor   Darius Fraser

Motion Capture Actor

Darius Fraser

Capture Session

I prepped for the capture session by rewatching the intended scene a few (hundred?) times, and skimming Judith Weston’s Directing Actors for some advice since I’d never really done this kind of thing before. I arrived early to the session to see how calibrating the space worked and setup the available props for the scene.


Setting Darius up in the suit took less than ten minutes.

Capture calibration