#Sigraph2013 Emerging technology
Girish Balakrishnan, a masters candidate from Drexel University was demonstrating his performance capture camera rig made entirely of commodity consumer components. It’s centered around an iPad and attached Playstation3 controllers that provide the rig’s spatial tracking as well as the user interface components.
The virtual world which the camera operator navigates is provided as a Unity game engine scene runing on the iPad. As the the operator moves through space the iPad displays that motion through a virtual camera in the game scene – like Avatar on a beer budget. The iPad integrates data from the playstation with its own, storing it as a file that can be imported into Maya or Motion Builder.
Balakrishnan has been interested in performance capture for years and feels that the current crop of tools leaves users too tethered to the mouse and keyboard. He wants to change that using tablets, commodity cameras, and game technology. His enthusiasm for the project might just make it a reality.
In its current configuration it can serve as a low budget indy game production tool or a very inexpensive previs tool for independent film and video production. Girish is looking into how to incorporate new HD cameras like the Black Magic to build a more robust camera performance capture system that could expand the creative palette of independent film makers. Performance in the venue was hampered by the huge amount of wireless interference in the Emerging Technologies hall, but it would be interesting to see how it performs in its intended environment – the mocap green screen stage in your garage.