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Vicon House of Moves Facilitates Full Performance Capture for Pendulum

Vicon House of Moves brings motion capture one step closer to real life for digital animation outfit Pendulum with the ability to capture the entire performance of an actor, including face, body and hands, while simultaneously recording the performer's voice-over and giving the actor complete freedom of movement.

Leading motion-capture studio House of Moves developed a customized capture volume within their in-house soundstage for voice-over recording capabilities at its Los Angeles facility. The capture volume was equipped with more than 100 four mega-pixel, Vicon MX40+ cameras situated to capture the full performance of multiple actors along with sets and props. The actors are given a full 360 range of movement within a 25'x25' capture volume, which captures not only the body motion but also high fidelity facial and finger motion across the entire capture volume. The resulting motion data was used by San Diego-based Studio Pendulum to apply their proprietary facial animation system to simplify the process of mapping facial animation onto a digital character.

In a half-day session, Vicon House of Moves recorded the actor's performance of a Mark Anthony monologue from Shakespeare's ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA using more than 160 markers-70 on the face, 25 on each hand and 65 on the body along with props-before turning the data over to Pendulum for data application and final renders.

"A huge hurdle in bringing believable digital actors to the screen is achieving realistic facial animation," says Michael McCormick, director of animation and co-owner, Pendulum Studios. "The leading-edge motion-capture technologies at Vicon House of Moves, known throughout the industry for unparalleled accuracy and flexibility, blended beautifully with our 3D production experience and proprietary facial MoCap pipeline to achieve an amazing level of precision and believability in the MARK ANTHONY production."

"We have invested a lot of time and R&D in creating a full-performance capture solution that is incredibly powerful for game, commercial and film production requirements," adds Gary Roberts, vp of production, Vicon House of Moves. "In the past we have been able to capture the entire performance of an actor, but it was somewhat time and resource intensive in post-production. Now with our new software and MX40+ we have a far more streamlined full performance capture pipeline that allows us to deliver the cleanest data within real-world production timelines ultimately saving our customers time and money."

Pendulum Studios ( is a San Diego based 3D animation and digital effects studio specializing in high-end character animation and great storytelling. Owned and operated by directors Michael McCormick and Robert Taylor, the studio strives to produce the highest quality animation for commercials, game cinematics, film and their own animated shorts.

Vicon House of Moves ( provides professional motion-capture services, stock 3D data and custom 3D animation tools for the entertainment industry. With expertise dating back to 1985 and credits ranging from POSEIDON to SPIDER-MAN 2 to TITANIC, Vicon House of Moves has completed hundreds of animation projects, including feature films, electronic games, television commercials, broadcast television series, music videos and on-line character animation/content for the Web. The world's largest motion-capture studio, House of Moves was acquired by leading motion-capture developer Vicon in 2004.