A lot of core gamers don't like Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360. I don't blame gamers. The device seems to be utterly useless for quick-reflex games and hardcore gaming titles. However, it serves a perfectly useful purpose for something entirely different: motion capturing.
The Kinect's 3D camera can be used in tandem with another Kinect to capture full motion movements equivalent to any of the highest grade motion-capture tech, except you don't need any of the expensive motion capture tech or tracking sensors.
Russian development studio iPi Soft has announced that iPi Motion Capture 2.0 is currently available for enthusiasts, indie devs and professional game designers alike. The toolset makes it even easier to perform in-house motion capturing like never before, using webcams, Kinect or even the PlayStation EyeToy.
J.J. Palomo, Creative Director at Big Lazy Robot commented in the press release about the new version of the software, saying...
"iPi Soft's markerless software solution has been an essential motion capture tool in our production pipeline and we're excited to take advantage of the feature enhancements in version 2.0"..."The ability to track the movements of more than one actor, and the new rigging and capture features will allow us to capture more complex movements, more quickly. We can´t wait to get our hands on it!"
Using two or more Xbox Kinect devices, and the ease-of-compatibility with support for Windows systems, the Kinect transforms from a near-useless casual gaming peripheral into a powerful motion-capture platform thanks to iPi Soft. Using the middleware suite developers can manipulate key frames, modify animations or export the animations for use in popular 3D manipulation and animation software for final rendering and in-game use.
I imagine this could be some very popular software used in conjunction with Valve's new Source Filmmaker. The possibilities are endless.
You can learn more by paying a visit to the Official iPi Soft Website.