Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Performance Capture in The Hobbit

Motion Capture, nowadays often called Performance Capture, gets bigger all the time and is increasingly used as a part of the animator's toolkit. In the excellent video above, animators from WETA Digital who worked on The Hobbit explain how MoCap was used to create the barrel ride sequence in the second film in the series. It's a fascinating insight into how MoCap can be incorporated into the production pipeline, used creatively by the animators to improve and polish their performances.

As animators, we need to think about MoCap, not as a competing technology which replaces our hard work, but as a useful tool that can be incorporated creatively into our shots, alongside keyframe animation. The complexity of the barrel ride sequence in The Hobbit is breathtaking, and it is hard to imagine animators pulling it off without having a lot of tricks up their sleeves.

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