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Victor Maia_144798

Is there any way to make animations using physical dolls?

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I've had trouble animating characters using 3D applications. It is too slow and difficult. I've programmed my own 3D animator that uses only the keyboard to change key angles. The results are much better, yet it draws some considerable time.

tq.png

I'm reaching the conclusion animating is hard because nor the keyboard nor the mouse are ideal input sources for that kind of thing. I guess the best would be a physical doll one could manipulate. Is anyone aware of such a product?

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Being used to make models out of clay, thus using your hands, that "Qumarion" sure looks a whole lot easier than moving joints with the mouse. 750$ is less then I expected as well (though still way too much for hobby purposes). However... what if you need to animate an animal? Or a 4-arm Guru? Guess they need to add some Optimus Prime transformer abilities to that manequin as well!

 

The technique behind it doesn't sound that hard by the way (except that it is being implemented on a small scale on a sweet looking puppet). Just a bunch of angle sensors, a chip that measures them, and sends these values to a PC that translates them into join rotations. At work we have a lot of metal arms and inclinometers to measure angles on machines. Got to make a harness with those some day to have my own low budget motion capture studio hehe.

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That's really cool :)

 

The traditional technique comes somewhat under rotoscoping, where you take a film or images of a subject, and then trace/reproduce their form. Often modellers/animators will either have their work overlayed on the reference images, or side-by-side.

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Another option would be to look at MIDI devices that have alot of rotary dials and sliders then map them to the controls on the 3D application.  You could then use 'Change Patch' to have them mapped to several different joints on whatever model you use.  There is plenty of hardware options out there, but they will all cost some bucks.

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Being used to make models out of clay, thus using your hands, that "Qumarion" sure looks a whole lot easier than moving joints with the mouse. 750$ is less then I expected as well (though still way too much for hobby purposes). However... what if you need to animate an animal? Or a 4-arm Guru?

You probably can remap the doll arms to the other arms you're animating. You'd need to animate a pair of arms at a time.

Now a animal... Yeah, that doesn't sounds viable.

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Hmmm, Kinect + clay ?

 

I think there's been some attempts at using Kinect (or other motion tracking devices) with real human models - or dolls, if you must - to collect animation data and filter it down to something that can be fed into a video game pipeline, for instance see here but apparently it's still too noisy to be really usable for anything beyond very low-detail animations, sadly. It's a shame because I can see the potential for some very realistic movements.. but I'm sure with enough money and hardware you can make it work (like anything, really)

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The Kinect for the XBox One has better hardware - maybe that'll benefit the indie mocap movement.

You'll might have to buy an entire XBox for the new Kinect - I don't know if they are sold individually - but you could probably pick them up used for cheap after about a year or so.

 

"The new Kinect has greater accuracy with three times the fidelity over its predecessor and even the ability to see in the dark thanks to its new active IR sensor. It has an up to 60% wider field of vision that can detect a user up to 3 feet from the sensor (compared to six feet for the original Kinect) and will be able to track up to 6 skeletons at once. It can also detect a player's heart rate, facial expression, 25 individual joints (even thumbs) and the precise rotation of such joints, the weight put on each limb, and the speed of your movements, and track gestures performed with a standard controller." - Wikipedia

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It has an up to 60% wider field of vision that can detect a user up to 3 feet from the sensor (compared to six feet for the original Kinect) and will be able to track up to 6 skeletons at once.

Is it just me or is 3 feet a little too small of a distance? That's about a meter, not a lot of space to dance in.

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