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Part V: Appendixes > Motion Capture Technology

Motion Capture Technology

Motion capture involves measuring an object’s position and orientation in physical space. Motion capture sessions are usually conducted in a warehouse or garage, where the movement of real objects—usually humans and animals—is recorded in a usable computer form. Other objects you might want to capture in a motion capture session include facial expressions, camera or light positions, and other elements in a scene.

There are essentially two forms of motion capture: optical and magnetic. Both forms are widely used, but optical is more common. Optical motion capture requires that the performer whose motion is being captured wear discs on key points of his body, such as the head, shoulders, knees, etc. As the performer moves about, the motion capture system optically records the movements of these discs, and the computer remembers their position data in a set 3D space. This type of motion capture is used for television programs and movies. With magnetic motion capture, the performer dons a special suit that is tethered to the motion capture system, and his movements are recorded. This type of motion capture is often used for live performances.


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