New Version Can Also Track Three Actors Simultaneously
Affordable, markerless mocap technology just got a little more interesting. Moscow-based iPi Soft has released an updated version of its mocap software aimed at television, film and gaming animators and VFX artists that now supports up to 16 USB cameras, like Sony's PlayStation Eye Camera, and up to four Microsoft Kinect 2 sensors. The new software can also track three actors simultaneously, a boon for animators and developers looking to more accurately capture group and team activity such as sports and dance moves and fight sequences.
Long compatible with leading 3D software like Maxon Cinema 4D and Autodesk Maya, MotionBuilder and 3D Max, iPi Motion Capture is also an affordable option for previs and virtual cinematography. But can you really get accurate motion-capture from little PS3 cameras and Kinect sensors? Don't you need to at least start with a decent HD camera? “That is true for marker-based systems, but for markerless mocap solutions like ours, high resolution is not that crucial," says Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft’s Founder/Chief Technology Architect. "Inexpensive USB cameras or Kinect sensors can achieve the same accuracy at a fraction of the cost of a marker-based system.”
In addition to the expanded recording possibilities, highlights of the new version include reduced occlusion for more reliable and accurate tracking and a much more flexible workflow that lets artists build mocap systems with their existing PC laptop or desktop computer or, when capturing synchronized video, several laptops and desktops in tandem during the same mocap session. The tool's proprietary iPi Recorder software configures a single computer to record up to eight USB cameras or one Kinect 2 sensor. Add more base computers and you can daisy-chain up to 16 USB cameras or four Kinect 2 or Kinect sensors—the software combines it all into a single file. The company's iPi Mocap Studio does the heavy lifting and tracks up to three actors simultaneously by analyzing multi-camera (or Kinect sensors) video recording data. The company says multiple cameras added into a mocap session will not only improve the reliability of the mocap data tracked but also translates into a faster and more seamless production process overall.
Available by subscription in a variety of multi-tiered options, the new software ranges in price from $45 to $1,195. An Express version, suitable only for very simple mocap projects without rotations, lists for $95 for one year. A year-long subscription to the software's Basic Edition, which now supports six cameras, is $345 (some 30 percent less than the price of Basic Edition version 2.0). The Pro version, listing for $1,195 per year, supports the full range of the multi-actor, camera and sensor capability of the software.
A free 30-day trial can be downloaded here. The company is also offering special multi-year and three-month options of all versions of the software.
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