One of the most expensive parts of animating characters in today's gaming climate comes from renting a studio and/or paying a third-party contract group to carry out motion-captured animations for a project. It can be a timely and costly venture depending on the game and the sequences that use full motion-capture.
Russian design studio iPi Soft has found a cheap, convenient and effective alternative to the more expensive third-party motion-capture solutions and the middleware is called iPi Soft. It uses two Kinects for full 3D, markerless capture and surprisingly enough, this tool was utilized by The Sequence Group for Halo 4.
Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft’s Founder and Chief Technology Architect commented about The Sequence Group using their tech, saying...
”As a long-time gamer myself it is exciting to see how cutting edge game development studios like The Sequence Group are using our product,”. “The game development industry has always been early adopters of new technology like markerless motion capture, and we’re proud that our product played such an integral role in this massively popular series.”
This is something I really hope picks up with more studios, both big and small. “Rising development costs” don't necessarily mean more expensive software, middleware and hardware technology. Using the right outlets and licensing the right materials can shave a couple of zeroes off the end of that budget sheet.
Sequence Group Producer Dan Sioui also had a few words to share regarding the process of motion-capture using markerless technology and two Microsoft Kinect devices, stating...
“In the scene the character gets shot, falls to one knee and is shot again and crumbles to the ground,” ... “We aimed for a realistic feel and iPi Motion Capture helped achieve this dramatic moment in a way we couldn’t otherwise. Ian was able to act out the scene exactly the way he envisioned it.”
If you're working on a game and you have a low budget, iPi Soft is definitely a cost-effective alternative worth exploring.
You can learn more about iPi Soft at the official website or look for the The Sequence Groups' cinematics in the upcoming Halo Forward Unto Dawn Blu-ray bundle.