Richland College Gets Interactive with New Motion Capture Lab

Richland College faculty member Dan Dao (left) and student Mustafa Alobaidi (right) demonstrate motion capture technology in Richland College’s new on-campus lab.Richland College recently unveiled its new marker-less motion capture lab, the first of its kind in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

The technology, created by Organic Motion, allows users to use the lab without the need of reflective markers at their joints like traditional motion capture labs require. The Organic OpenStage2 system has 18 cameras that surround the user and capture motion, feeding the data into a computer algorithm that detects the skeletal resemblance of human motion.

This technology was recently used in the creation of the “Batman: Arkham Origins” video game, released in 2013 by Warner Bros.

“The technology is very similar to the Xbox Kinect, but on steroids!” said Dan Dao, Richland College multimedia lead faculty member. “When a person moves, it’s not just about hands and wrists. It’s about all of you: arms, legs, knees, waist, and hips.”

In the motion capture lab, students are able to calibrate the machines in just a few minutes, allowing for a low-maintenance system and the ability to do independent work.

“Students don’t have to worry about wearing special suits,” said Dao. “Within just a few minutes, students can work by themselves and do self-recording.”

Dallas is considered one of the top cities in the U.S. for game development and currently has more than 30 game companies employing 1,000 workers. Dallas is also home to Bottle Rocket Apps, a large mobile app and game developer, that has produced more than 50 apps and is ranked number five in the top 100 places to work in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Being situated so close to the industry gives Richland College students an advantage in providing gaming students special opportunities to visit companies to playtest games soon to be released, industry tours and interaction with industry leaders in the gaming and interactive simulation fields. The growing industry provides an array of employment opportunities for Richland College program completers.

Richland College will begin teaching classes in motion capture technology during the spring 2015 semester, with additional classes being added in subsequent semesters. For more information on Richland College’s Interactive Simulation and Game Technology program, click here.