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Experience with Motion Capture Systems

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Experience with Motion Capture Systems

Hi, I am doing some research on different motion capture systems in the animation industry and was wondering if any of you have had any bought, used, or are familar with any of the mo-cap technology out there.

I just want to hear some feedback about the different brands that you know about and what you think about them. Also, what kind of technology (ie: optical, inertial, magnetic) is the best for the animation industry and what are some of the advantages or disadvantages between the different systems and technologies?

If you have knowledge or experience with mo-cap I would greatly appreciate hearing your input. Thank you


How much do you already know? Are you a student, or do you have industry experience?

A Google search for "motion capture" should turn up a lot of information just on the first two pages of search results alone. For example, the Wiki article is pretty informative, and so is the visgraf link.

Do you have a specific application in mind? If so, the system for you won't really be decided by the opinions of others.

-- Michael

I'm really interested in motion capture too, but I've resigned myself to never using one just because it seems too inaccessible, at least for someone doing animation on his own without the backing of a studio or whatnot. How much would a whole system cost?

I am student with no experience in animation or motion capture. I am currently in Kiev, Ukraine doing an internship with a company here that is developing motion capture technology using inertial sensors with 6DOF...the technology will start being sold within the next six months, however, we are still researching the different applications that our technology can be used for. We have that one of the applications can be used as a virtual reality body suit. There are several out there right now, but are very expensive and our objective is to offer a higher performing and lower cost suit.

My job is to find out what people think about the current technology available and hear any thoughts that they may have about them. I have already done quite a bit of research about mo-cap technology, but now I would like to hear the customers' feelings about the various products out there. If anyone has had experience with any mo-cap technology, please let me know.


Hi, Kaj.

In your original post, you asked about motion capture used in the animation industry. The motion-capture technology that seems prevalent in the animation industry is passive-optical. The two major companies in this field are VICON and Motion Analysis (judging by trade show activities, VICON seems to be THE main company in this field. They usually have a big booth at SIGGRAPH).

Magnetic and inertial systems are inexpensive but, in my opinion, awkward to use and old. I don't think they are anyone's first choice except for extremely budget-conscious projects.

Your second post indicated the possibility of a virtual reality application. Depending upon the actions you are capturing, a passive-optical system might be adequate. However, if you also would like the potential to create real-time interactive virtual environments, an active-optical system should also be considered. The active-optical companies are smaller than the two mentioned above. For example, Optotrack is made by NDI and tends to be used frequently in scientific research environments (biomechanics, gait analysis, etc.). Phoenix Technologies ( offers a similar system, and so does Coda.

There are also video capture systems, that claim to be able to extract motion data from video tape (I think Innovision offers such products).

There are also a few other, even smaller, companies that I have heard of, but haven't seen at trade shows. For example, Lukotronic ( However, they are located closer to The Ukraine (they are in Austria) than the others, so might be worth looking at.

And there are others too.

So . . .
the technology that is appropriate for your project will be determined by a combination of factors:
i) your budget;
ii) the capabilities desired by the system;
iii) the type of motions to be captured;

That's why in my other post I stated that the system for you won't really be decided by the opinions of others (you either need real-time or not, you have the budget or not, you want a small system or not, etc.)

-- Michael


hi, i m actually mocap animator, for body or facial, working with vicon system, if you need more information about vicon system you can contact me it gonna be a plaisure ti support you in your research


TrueBones Motion Capture


Heres a related link of a company that sells tons of mocap for real cheap.
The quality of this mocap is really good. .

Check them out at


Here You can get over 200 motions for only $20.00 right now.!:eek: