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ROC Computer Animation in Hollywood

StudentsStudents were given a tour and demonstration of the motion capture facility from none other than House of Moves CEO and President Brian Rasuch. ROC students intently listened to understand how motion captures actually works. Motion capture is used for movies, video games, science and sports motion analysis.

Perhaps the day’s highlight was when students suited up and they themselves became video game stars. This is done through state-of-the-Art software that retargets the motion data into compartmentalized filters that can then be reconfigured on the fly. 

In the mid 1990’s, when motion capture started, all of this work was painstaking done with expensive code, slower computers and highly sophisticated algorithms.  Now it is done quickly in real-time.  It has changed the way Motion Capture is created and has reduced time consuming tasks and elevated costs.

To begin, the ROC student-actors received direction and a preview of the process. Once they were fitted into their stretchy suits complete with velco pads so the markers could be attached (even shoes are markered up), they were instructed to approach each other and taunt one-another. 

The markers are carefully and scientifically positioned so the 3D software can translate them onto a 3D rig (see video). Full performance captures require a helmet to capture tiny markers placed on the faces of actors.  It is also this helmet that records audio dialogue from the actors.

The Director of the shoot is in charge of the talent. Mr. Rasuch gave the line director the queue and explained the duties his directors perform.

The more fluid you are as an actor the more dramatic the moves look. A little fun and play is always certain.  After all, you’re playing as a cartoon character!!!

The walls of House of Moves are sound proofed for Full-Performance Captures where full body, hands, face, and audio are simultaneously recorded. More than 68 Infrared cameras surround the actors.

Mr. Rausch also touched upon the business side of his company, including discussing the mission of the studio and work ethics.

It was an eye-opening day for the 3D animation students who realized these jobs are just a class away from qualifying them to work in this industry. 

No matter how many times you have attended a motion capture session, there is always a lot fun involved.

Thanks Mr. Pollard and ROC for a great day … and a great program!