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Motion Capture for the Masses

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Mocap Saves the Day in Dream Corp LLC

Posted on: July 3rd, 2019

The current June/July issue of Animation Magazine features a deep dive into how lead CG artist Brandon Parvini and the team at the Los Angeles-based VFX studio Bemo effectively incorporated iPi Soft markerless motion capture technology into its workflow. Parvini notes how the show’s demanding schedule requires a fast and flexible, real-time motion- capture system, which is critical in the post-production pipeline (which also includes Cinema 4D, After Effects and ZBrush).

We’re given a rough notion of the creative direction for CG character development based on all the creative parameters that exist,” Parvini says. “We are pretty much run-and-gun. While the edit is still being locked down, we are moving into 3D animation and solving tech and creative asks that come up. The moments where I need a capture, I pull out the Kinect, place it on a stool and capture action right there at my desk in roughly a 4×4 foot space.

Full text in PDF>>

AnimationMag-June-2019-2

Record & Edit Seamless Looped Motion Capture with iPi, C4D & Kinect

Posted on: June 18th, 2019

Designer/animator Leigh Williamson has started to create series of video tutorials on using iPi Mocap with Cinema4D.

In the first published video you will…

  • learn how to record your own diy motion capture with iPi Mocap Studio & a Kinect Camera.
  • learn how to edit your motion capture data in C4D to create seamless loops as seen in Mixamo.

https://youtu.be/EPKil7aTs-Q

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iPi Soft Offers Built-In Support For Unreal Engine

Posted on: June 10th, 2019

iPi Soft Offers Built-In Support For Unreal Engine

New Support Simplifies Animation Export Functionality

The latest release 4.1.3 of iPi Mocap Studio includes built-in support that simplifies the animation export process from the iPi Motion Capture software to the Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), the suite of integrated tools popular with video game developers and designers.

Previously, Unreal Engine users had to manually match joints of the default iPi Mocap Studio rig to joints of their own rigs they use in Unreal in order to transfer captured motions to their rigs.  Any errors in matching would lead to misalignment and render the animation unusable. New features now provide Unreal users with a process that only requires they export their character to an FBX file, which is then loaded into iPi Mocap Studio for automatic generation of motion-transfer profile.

The new process benefits anyone using iPi Mocap, not just those using UE4. When loading custom characters from an FBX file, users can now select from several built-in compatible motion transfer profiles. Prior, they had to manage the profiles themselves, often leading to profile errors. Additional feature enhancements include a new option to automatically determine character coordinate systems, eliminating the time-consuming process of matching changing axis orientations.

“The new automated features being introduced in iPi Mocap Version 4 are not only about saving UE4 customers time,” says Michael Nikonov. “These new capabilities will also ensure more accurate results for those creating custom characters using different coordinate systems for a stable and intuitive workflow.”

studio-transfer-profile-new-features-4-1-3

iPi Mocap and Cinema 4D Deep Dive by Leigh Williamson

Posted on: May 13th, 2019

iPi Mocap and Cinema 4D Deep Dive by Leigh Williamson

This is worth sharing: designer/animator Leigh Williamson took a deep-dive for the School of Motion website showing how easy it is create motion capture 3D character animation using iPi Motion Capture and Cinema 4D. Check it out here.

Leigh notes he was inspired by Brandon Parvini’s presentation for Maxon last summer at Siggraph showing how iPi Mocap and Cinema 4D were used together effectively on the popular “Dream Corp LLC” Adult Swim TV series, and decided to explore it for himself (see our press release).

Using our trial iPi Mocap license and a borrowed friend’s Kinect, Williamson set up a capture space in his small home office. Clearly he was impressed with how quickly he was able to get up and running and the capture quality.

See related article at Cineversity.

#iPiSoft #SchoolofMotion #Cinema4D #Maxon #iPiMocap #LeighWilliamson

LeighWilliamsonDeepDive-1

Files.ipisoft.com Unavailable

Posted on: April 3rd, 2019

All our files.ipisoft.com/path resources are unavailable (thanks to some bug in DNS management of @GoDaddy). Please use ipisoft.com/files.ipisoft.com/path links as a temporary workaround.

Such links are used to download older versions, sample projects, etc.

For instance, link to sample project is:
http://files.ipisoft.com/samples3/dual_kinect2/dual_kinect2_walking.iPiMotion

Use link:
http://ipisoft.com/files.ipisoft.com/samples3/dual_kinect2/dual_kinect2_walking.iPiMotion

iPi Mocap Plays Integral Role In “Dream Corp LLC” Series

Posted on: March 13th, 2019

iPi Soft Markerless Mocap Software Plays Integral Role In Second Season Of Adult Swim Series “Dream Corp LLC”

Mind-Bending Series Combines Live Action, CG And Motion Capture;  Season Three Scheduled for Production This Summer

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA – March 13, 2019 – iPi Soft is pleased to announce Los-Angeles creative studio Bemo, continues to leverage its advanced markerless mocap solution, iPi Motion Capture (iPi Mocap), for the extensive CG character animation on comedy series Dream Corp LLC.  Airing on Adult Swim, the live-action workplace comedy series set in a neglected Dream Therapy facility demands a fast-paced production pipeline and extensive motion capture technology to create the mind-bending animated sequences that distinguish between the show’s dreams and reality.

A huge hit for Adult Swim with a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, the show’s third season was announced ahead of the premier of season two. Dream Corp LLC is created, directed and executive produced by Daniel Stessen (John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant are Executive Producers) and produced by Bemo, with seasons one and two currently available on Amazon Prime and YouTube. The show’s third season is slated to begin production this summer.

Click here to view a sample of how motion capture is incorporated into the show’s narrative.

Brandon Parvini, Designer/Animator for the show and a long-time iPi Mocap user explained that the show’s production moves very fast, and a flexible, real-time motion capture technology is critical to a post production pipeline that also includes Cinema 4D, AfterEffects and Zbrush.

Creative Shorthand:

Parvini notes that a typical production starts when they see the first rough cut of an episode. Much of the show’s creative is made via ”shorthand” between the animators, the editors and Stessen. The team studies the tone and shot selection and determines a reaction plan for each episode to see where there are opportunities or references to a character or figure that will need to be created. Much of the time the team knows only a day before if motion capture is required. Sometimes requests require capture that same day.

“We are given a rough notion of the creative direction for CG character development based on all the creative parameters that exist,” Parvini says. “We are pretty much run-and-gun. While the edit is still being locked down we are moving into 3D animation and solving tech and creative asks that come up. The moments where I need a capture, I pull out the Kinect, place it on a stool and capture action right there at my desk in roughly a 4×4 foot space.”

He added, the strength of iPi Mocap has been its ease of use and smooth integration with Cinema 4D, the studio’s central 3D application. “iPi Mocap doesn’t require a lot of fuss and setup to get rolling with recordings which has made it a durable and irreplaceable part of our pipeline arsenal. Having a motion capture solution that is accurate and works so easily in our production pipeline, encourages us to take risks and immerse ourselves in the creative process so that we can create a more jarring and visually engaging experience for everyone.”

Version 4.1 of iPi Motion Capture was released in December 2018 and features several enhancements to include real-time tracking for multiple depth sensors (connected to either a single computer or several computers connected via iPi Soft’s Distributed Recording feature), as well as automatic synchronization of action camera videos based on flash detection.

“iPi Mocap is designed to enable artists to go from creative idea to production with technology that is affordable and accessible without the need for expensive greenscreen studios and sensor suits,” says Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft Founder and Chief Technology Architect. “Our real time tracking function lets customers preview motion tracking results transferred to a 3D character at the time of performance, which optimizes workflow for fast-paced productions like ‘Dream Corp LLC.”

Pricing and Availability:

With the launch of iPi Motion Capture Version 4, iPi Soft introduced a perpetual license model. The perpetual license is not time-limited and includes two years with full support and software updates. iPi Motion Capture Version 4 is also available as a subscription-based model. Prices range from $165 to $1995 depending on the version of software (Express, Basic, Pro) and duration of subscription.

Additional information on iPi Soft license and pricing is available here.


About iPi Soft:

Moscow-based developer, iPi Soft, LLC, develops powerful markerless motion capture software technology that uses sophisticated image processing and computer vision algorithms to recognize and track the human body. The company’s software is used by creative professionals and prosumers around the world to digitize the movement of a human skeleton, rendering it expressive in 3D characters for video games, computer generated films, as well as for medical, military and other applications. For additional information, on iPi Soft, product pricing, product configurations or a 30-day free trial please visit http://www.ipisoft.com.

All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Media Contacts:

Vicky Gray-Clark, Ambient PR vicky@ambientpr.com 408-318-1980

Ray Ecke, Right Word Media ray@rightwordmedia.com 973-726-3797

iPiRecorder Updated to 4.2

Posted on: February 5th, 2019

iPiRecorder Version 4.2 Released

Main highlights:

  • Support for multiple Kinects v2 on a single PC.
  • Support for multiple ASUS Xtion2 on a single PC.
  • Selectively enable support for various camera types in Camera Types panel.

For details see Release notes.

Add-Device-Kinect2-multiple-2

Real-time Tracking Support Multiple Depth Sensors

Posted on: December 10th, 2018

iPi Soft Now Delivers Real-time Tracking Support in iPi Motion Capture Version 4.1 for Multiple Depth Sensors

Latest Enhancements To Advanced Markerless Mocap Solution Include Automatic Synchronization With Action Cameras For Improved 3D Character Content Creation; Up To 30-Percent Holiday Discount

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – December 10, 2018 — iPi Soft, LLC, developers of markerless motion capture technology, today announced several new updates to Version 4 of its popular iPi Motion Capture software application. Latest enhancements include real-time tracking for multiple depth sensors, as well as automatic synchronization of action camera videos based on flash detection.

Creative performance in iPi Mocap Version 4.1 now enables customers to use real-time tracking — in which users can preview the motion tracking result transferred to a 3D character at the time of performance — with multiple depth sensors connected to either a single computer or several computers connected via iPi Soft’s Distributed Recording feature.

According to Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft Founder and Chief Technology Architect, this is an important development milestone and one users have been anticipating since most iPi Mocap customers use the software with two or more Kinect sensors.

”We are excited to extend the benefits of real-time tracking to support customers using iPi Motion Capture with multiple depth sensors to obtain quality mocap data easily and quickly for an overall improved workflow without the need for multiple recording, tracking and motion transfer iterations,” Nikonov says.

Action Camera Synchronization:

Additional feature updates also include automatic synchronization of videos with action cameras like GoPro based on flash detection. The new algorithm detects flashes between separate videos and synchronizes them automatically. This greatly speed-ups the process of merging multi-camera footage into synchronized videos that can be used for motion tracking compared to time-consuming manual sync process  supported in the previous version.

Pricing and Availability:

For the holidays, iPi Soft is currently offering a 30-percent discount for orders placed before December 31, 2018 (please use coupon code NY2019). This includes a discount off of iPi Soft’s perpetual license that includes two years of full support and software updates, as well as its subscription-based pricing model.

With the launch of iPi Motion Capture Version 4, iPi Soft introduced a perpetual license model. The perpetual license is not time-limited and includes two years with full support and software updates. iPi Motion Capture Version 4 is also available as a subscription-based model. Prices range from $165 to $1995 depending on the version of software (Express, Basic, Pro) and duration of subscription.

Additional information on iPi Soft license and pricing is available here.

Press-resease PDF Version>>

Live-Preview-img1

About iPi Soft:

Moscow-based developer, iPi Soft, LLC, develops powerful markerless motion capture software technology that uses sophisticated image processing and computer vision algorithms to recognize and track the human body. The company’s software is used by creative professionals and prosumers around the world to digitize the movement of a human skeleton, rendering it expressive in 3D characters for video games, computer generated films, as well as for medical, military and other applications. For additional information, on iPi Soft, product pricing, product configurations or a 30-day free trial please visit, http://www.ipisoft.com.

 All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Brandon Parvini Leverages iPi Mocap Character Animation Workflow on “Dream Corp LLC”

Posted on: November 16th, 2018

Brandon Parvini, Designer/Animator, Leverages iPi Motion Capture Character Animation Workflow on “Dream Corp LLC”

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Brandon-Parvini-1Brandon-Parvini-2

In case you missed it, at the Siggraph 2018 convention earlier this year, Brandon Parvini, designer/animator and long-time user of iPi Motion Capture, showcased the character development and animation workflow he and the creative team at Bemo created for the show “Dream Corp LLC.” The popular series airs on the Adult Swim network and is executive produced by actor/director John Krasinski and actor Stephen Merchant. See video presentation here (use of iPi Mocap is discussed starting from 39:40).

Parvini uses iPi Soft markerless motion capture software in conjunction with Maxon’s Cinema 4D, to create animated sequences that distinguish between dreams and reality, leading to a mind-bending visual experience.

According to Parvini, for the past year of post-production on the show the workflow has involved inheriting rotoscoped versions of the main characters and in turn tracking the source footage and building out environments for those characters to interact within. As the season went on and the needs of the show grew more complex, coupled with aggressive time constraints, Parvini found they needed to supplant moments in the show with full CG characters that simply couldn’t be shot on set.

“iPi Motion Capture was a natural solution to bring into the pipeline as it allows us to turn around ideas quickly and get them into scenes,” explains Parvini. “We needed custom animation all the time. Being able to leave a Kinect plugged into my computer, launch IPI Studio and get from capture to refining the results and back into Cinema 4D in under 15-minutes is what makes iPi Motion Capture an invaluable part of our post process. The speed and stability of the software have now opened new avenues and workflows for us as we continue to look forward to production on the upcoming season and other projects of similar ilk.”

iPi Mocap Inspires Feature Length Machinima Horror Movie Ticket Zer0

Posted on: September 25th, 2018

iPi Soft Motion Capture Software Inspires Feature Length Machinima Horror Movie Ticket Zer0

Director Ian Chisholm Uses End-to-End Markerless Performance Capture Pipeline For Character Animation; Film Now Airing on YouTube

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA – September 25, 2018 – For his most ambitious project to date, the feature length horror film Ticket Zer0, motion capture director/writer Ian Chisholm once again leaned heavily on iPi Motion Capture, the advanced markerless motion capture technology from iPi Soft. The 66-minute animated machinima cinematic production is currently available for streaming on YouTube or Blu-Ray here.

Ticket Zer0 is a follow-up to Chisholm’s Clear Skies trilogy series (viewed by hundreds of thousands on YouTube), which also used iPi Mocap throughout for performance capture. Ticket Zer0 tells the story of the night shift at a deserted industrial facility. When a troubleshooter is sent in to fix a mysterious problem, something far more sinister emerges than any of them could have imagined.

Chisholm notes production for Ticket Zer0 took almost five years to complete and used iPi Motion Capture for recording movement in every single frame for all the characters in the film.

“iPi Soft technology has proven to be an invaluable creative resource for me as a filmmaker during motion capture sessions,” he says. “There wasn’t anything on screen that wasn’t recorded by iPi Mocap. The ability to perform the motion capture was exactly what I needed to expand and improve the immersive quality of my film.”

Workflow Details:

For motion capture production, Chisholm used iPi Mocap in conjunction with six Sony PS3 Eye cameras along with two PlayStation Move controllers to track hand movements. With the large amount of video data produced, captured footage was recorded to a solid-state storage device and a dedicated USB3 card. An older quad core PC with ample USB bandwidth and disk speed was sufficient; CPU horsepower was not a requirement.

Handling the motion capture performances, Chisholm broke the Ticket Zer0 script down into one-to-two-page scenes and created capture schedules for each character to block out where each was on set, and then described exactly what each was doing per line of dialogue. Chisholm often performed the motion capture months later, so it was crucial to know if a character was standing or seated and the direction in which they were looking further making accurate capture critical from the start.

Once the motion capture footage was processed, character action was imported into Set Builder, part of the Hammer mapping tool for the Half-Life 2 engine in the Source Valve SDK. Following, choreography scenes were built in Faceposer in the Source engine and motion capture footage recorded in the game engine using the Fraps screen capture and recording utility and then edited using Vegas Movie Studio.

Accurate Mocap:

Advances to iPi Mocap’s processing capabilities since Chisholm produced Clear Skies ten years ago, were key to meeting the motion capture challenges in Ticket Zer0.

“It was almost spooky how well the software was able to handle performance tracking with the six camera setup,” Chisholm notes. “The accuracy of the capture that could be achieved now in iPi Mocap motion allowed me to have many more physical interactions in my film, and it conveyed body language extremely well.”

Today, many working CG animators are turning to markerless motion capture systems like iPi Soft because it accurately captures human motion data using inexpensive, off the-shelf cameras that do not require clumsy sensor suits and greenscreen stages. Moreover, the captured animations don’t exhibit artifacts like jitter or foot skate; and can be easily exported into many leading game engines, 3D software and animation rigs.

Michael Nikonov, founder/chief technology architect of iPi Soft, first became a fan of Chisholm’s work when he saw the Clear Skies film projects, and remains impressed at the level of creativity filmmakers like Chisholm achieve with the company’s markerless motion capture technology.

“We are committed to developing the most reliable and powerful markerless motion capture solutions to help filmmakers, animators and video game developers address their production challenges efficiently and affordably,“ Nikonov says. “We’re thrilled that our iPi Motion Capture technology offered the ultimate accuracy and flexibility to let Ian achieve his creative vision with this epic new film.”

Ticket-Zer0-Making-Of-Slides

About iPi Soft:

Launched in 2008, iPi Soft, LLC is the Moscow-based developer of iPi Motion Capture™, a markerless motion capture software tool that uses sophisticated image processing and computer vision algorithms to recognize and track the human body. The company’s breakthrough technology digitizes the movement of a human skeleton, rendering it in expressive 3D characters for video games or computer. For additional information, on iPi Soft, product pricing, product configurations or a 30-day free trial please visit, http://www.ipisoft.com.

 

Web Resources:

Press-release in PDF:

http://ipisoft.com/pr/iPi-Soft-Ticket-Zer0.pdf

Click here for more info about iPi Soft:

http://ipisoft.com/

Click here to watch the “Ticket Zer0” Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3V4db5gDsY

Click here to watch the full “Ticket Zer0” film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qdj-xEDj0Q

For more info about Ian Chisholm:

https://ianchisholmva.wordpress.com/

All trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contacts:

Vicky Gray-Clark, Ambient PR vicky@ambientpr.com 408-318-1980

Ray Ecke, Right Word Media ray@rightwordmedia.com 973-726-3797