Epic Games, best known for creating the hit games UNREAL and UNREAL TOURNAMENT, has installed a 12-Camera Vicon 8i Real-Time motion-capture system at their development studio in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Vicon 8i optical motion-capture system allows actors to move freely, unrestricted by wires, awkward suits or large body markers. The system can capture multiple actors simultaneously, and with Vicon's million-pixel resolution MCam, motion data is recorded at near perfect accuracy. Vicon 8 is the same professional motion-capture solution that has been used in the production of leading game and feature film projects including GLADIATOR, STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE, THE MUMMY and many others. Epic operates as a small shop and believes that a Vicon system in-house will help them speed up the animation process, allowing Epic to include more animation sequences in their new games. "Motion-capture is playing a very key role in the game we currently have in development, explained Epic Games lead animator John Root. The reason why Epic decided to build a motion capture studio rather than outsource the work is because as a development studio, the game idea is constantly evolving. The game can become a whole new beast from initial concept to final shipping product. So even if we came up with a list of moves to capture beforehand, it becomes inevitable that by the time production is underway there are almost always a laundry list of new moves that our animators will need. With a Vicon system in-house, we can capture those moves at the drop of a hat."
In Vicon Motion Systems' Brian Nilles: Motion-Capture Moves Forward, Sharon Schatz interviews Brian Nilles on the new Vicon 8 motion-capture system and the future of the industry.