Motion capture technology specialist Vicon recently announced that it has partnered with Richland College’s Interactive Simulation and Game Technology department to provide all students in the department’s motion capture (mocap) class with industry-standard Blade software. Designed for a future where motion capture and live-action shooting become indistinguishable, Blade will enable Richland’s students to capture performances effortlessly and deliver robust, reliable data that enables creativity.
The Interactive Simulation and Game Technology program at Richland gives students the opportunity to work with the current software programs and sophisticated gaming technology that professionals use. The motion capture class gives students hands-on experience in everything from organizing a shoot with multiple actors and a shot list to post processing the data, using Blade software for capturing, labeling, tracking/cleaning and solving.
“Vicon is a leader in motion capture systems—you get better quality data, cutting-edge hardware and software, and good customer service,” said Richland College’s motion capture instructor, Brian Mckee, who has used Vicon systems throughout his career at top studios including Gearbox Games, Blur Studios, and House of Moves. “The ability to work with and learn Blade will give students a major advantage as they try to enter a small and competitive industry.”
“Richland College is located in the heart of Dallas, which is considered one of the top cities for game development,” said Jeffrey Ovadya, sales and marketing director, Vicon. “By partnering with Richland, we’re helping future generations of mocap professionals on their path to success in their real-world careers.”
Academy Award®-winning Vicon is the world’s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems and match-moving software. It serves customers in CG animation, engineering and life sciences industries. As well as those in film, visual effects, video games and broadcast television sectors.
Vicon is a subsidiary of OMG (Oxford Metrics Group – LSE: OMG), plc., the technology group providing Computer Vision products and services for the entertainment, life science, engineering industries and consumer electronics markets. Other holdings include: OMG Life, our IP licensing business; and Yotta, a provider of software and services for infrastructure asset management.
Among many others, Vicon global clients include:
- Engineering: European Space Agency, BMW, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – South Africa, ETH Zurich, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, NRL, UPENN GRASP, MIT, Ford and General Motors
- Entertainment: Framestore, Audiomotion, The Imaginarium, Quantic Dream, SEGA, Konami, Activision, Sony, Dreamworks, ILM and USC
- Life Sciences: Imperial College – London, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre – Oxford, Headley Court, University of Western Australia, Adidas, Digital Human Research Centre – Japan, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Shriners, Marquette, UMich and Red Bull
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.