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Motion capture for indie game developers?

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I've been trying to animate a character and it's much harder then I would have ever expected. This is one of the things which is holding me back the most, the only logical solution would be motion capture but all of the systems I've seen are incredibly expensive. What options are available for indie game developers?

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Using motion capture isn't any simpler. Motion capture data requires extensive clean-up work and, you know, you have to actually apply the data to a rig.

Your best options are to find an animator for your project, search for and learn how to use existing BVH files, or keep learning how to animate yourself.

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If by indie you mean a small start up with limited budget, OptiTrack might be worth a look (i didn't actually use it, though).

If by indie you mean you have literally no budget, than i guess you won't find anything.

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As for my budget it would need to be something under $500 and can fit in my apartment...

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I know this isn't motion capture, but have you looked into Poser to see if you can do what you need to animate your characters?

You may not be able to directly export the animation into your game (you might, I don't know), but from my use with Poser, walk, running, jumping and stuff like that is really easy. You just create a path, set up some parameters and let Poser do the work.

John

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If you can't animate by hand then you won't be able to do motion capture either. Most of the work in motion capture comes from cleaning up the mess it makes... which means animating by hand. So no, it is not really a logical solution. A logical solution would be to a) hire an animator, b) keep practicing, c) settle for subpar animations, or d) design a game with features you can actually do. That last option sounds mean but is truly the best one.

The rotoscoping suggestion is also decent, assuming you can find people close enough to what you need.

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Quote:
Original post by borngamer
I know this isn't motion capture, but have you looked into Poser to see if you can do what you need to animate your characters?

You may not be able to directly export the animation into your game (you might, I don't know), but from my use with Poser, walk, running, jumping and stuff like that is really easy. You just create a path, set up some parameters and let Poser do the work.

John


Yeah thats the best idea so far but they don't seem to offer a demo unless you give them your credit card number which I will not do...

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A very simple solution is this:
------------------------------

position your subject next to a full length mirror at 45 degrees.
position your camera far away from the subject with high zoom to minimise perspective.
Now you will have a video of your subject from front and side on giving you all the 3D data you need.
play the video frame by frame underneath your skeleton rig and match the action frame by frame.

Best place to find full length mirrors is in places such as dance studios with the added benefit you can get the dancers to do the movements for you!

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I love using 2D game sprite sheets as my character animation reference.

It works greats with 2 screens and it has helped me make animations way faster than I could have ever expected. 

 

With this method the time it takes to create a pose isn't that bad.

 

As for cleaning it up and touching up on it I try to reference how I would move when performing the animation in real life. 

 

I hope this helps even this is a pretty old thread.

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It's not that hard. In my game I just captured movement from camera, then I wrote simple editor to manually position main points of simple skeleton frame by frame (it took me 2-3 hours) and that was all. Later I just put that data into game and draw body-parts sprites using these data.

 

Here you can see the results:

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Edited by LukKaluski

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