Vicon, developer of Academy Award-winning motion capture technology, the Vicon Feature Unit (VFU), a new Los Angeles-based entity devoted to on-site consulting, custom service, development and pipeline building for its film, videogame and TV clientele. VFU will be able to provide everything from purchasing and setup advice, pre-production, capture and post-production services through to custom hardware and software to rapidly deliver on unique studio requirements and project demands.
"Vicon has always had the reputation of being at the cutting edge of motion capture. The Vicon Feature Unit is yet another industry firsta focused business unit aimed at delivering radical new technology, service and customization for high-end vfx clients," said Gary Roberts, recently named vp of the Vicon Feature Unit."Providing complete solutions, VFU will ensure that productions are run efficiently, with superior results that bring the ambitious ideas of our clients to reality. With the rise of performance capture, first unit on-set motion capture and camera counts in the hundreds, the creative and technical aspirations of the market are demanding this type of complete service. For Vicon, there was only one way to do it: with a dedicated and experienced team that can go deep into production, speak the language and get mission-critical tools commissioned and put immediately into use to deliver the start-to-finish solution for any production."
"We envision the Vicon Feature Unit as a growing business, especially as the need increases for Vicon MX technology and facilities take on projects that require new technological feats and expertise," added Brian Nilles, ceo, Vicon Motion Systems. "Gary and his team will be bringing their wealth of studio experience directly to customers, and, in a related move, we will also be building a new Vicon development team, based in Los Angeles, focused on the entertainment and visual effects community. This will enable development efforts to be aimed squarely at our customer needs and requirements, and managed right in the heart of the industry."
VFU was created in recognition of the fact that Vicon's large entertainment accounts frequently have productions that must be planned for and executed in very unique ways. Such productions include notable projects from Sony Pictures Imageworks, whose credits include THE POLAR EXPRESS and Best Visual Effects Oscar winner SPIDER-MAN 2.
VFU will consist of developers, specialists and technical directors who can be on set and on site for pre-production, capture and post production to ensure immediate solutions, feature implementation and other customization. The group will access VICON's engineering teams as well as the motion capture services and facilities at VICON company House of Moves, also in Los Angeles, to provide a complete and dedicated motion capture solution.
Roberts has always been at the forefront of motion capture and steps into his new role having been executive development manager at Vicon's engineering headquarters in the U.K. He entered the motion capture arena more than 14 years ago while employed by Electronic Arts. Spotting an article in a medical journal, he quickly realized the potential of motion capture technology for computer animation applications, and his enthusiasm led to EA's first investment in motion capture systems.
After an extensive tenure using motion capture at EA, DreamWorks, Motion Analysis Corp. and other production companies, Roberts spent several years in Los Angeles designing and managing Performance Capture Studios, a high-end motion capture studio. His uniquely technical and creative career, which combines traditional animation with development, began at IBM's Scientific Research Center in conjunction with Oxford University and quickly progressed to working on key productions such AS LOST IN SPACE, SHREK, RESIDENT EVIL and THE POLAR EXPRESS.
Vicon and its sister companies 2d3 and House of Moves contribute via their products and services to a wide range of television and film productions involving visual effects. Technologies developed by Vicon continue to enable groundbreaking creative firsts, such as last-years performance capture feature THE POLAR EXPRESS, starring Tom Hanks. Vicon received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in February 2005.
Vicon Motion Systems (www.vicon.com) is a subsidiary of OMG plc with global headquarters in Oxford, U.K., and U.S. headquarters in Lake Forest, California. OMG subsidiary 2d3 Ltd. produces innovative visual geometry software deriving 3D data from moving images. Since 1984, VICON has been providing professionals with the latest tools to accurately capture the subtleties of three-dimensional human motion for research, medicine, sport, engineering, game development, broadcast and film.