Post Magazine Outlook 2017: iPi Soft’s CEO Interview
Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft’s Founder and Chief Technology Architect, talks about the challenges mocap technology developers face in terms of accuracy and realtime performance and about company plans for 2017.
Post Perspective’s Behind the Title: Iloura lead animator Dean Elliott
In the latest Post Perspective “Behind the Title” feature, Dean Elliott, lead animator at Iloura, talks about the role of iPi Mocap in the studio’s production pipeline on projects like “Game of Thrones”. The software is also being used on the upcoming feature film “Underworld: Blood Wars,” scheduled for release in early January.
Maximum speed increase (up to 3-4 times) is achieved at high-performance video cards for projects recorded with 1 or 2 Kinect sensors.
For 4 or more Sony PS3 Eye cameras speed gain is lower and can reach 10 – 50% depending on particular tracking options and hardware configuration.
For slow video cards speed increase is substantially lower.
For projects recorded with many cameras tracking speed can even be lower compared to previous version on particular hardware configurations. You have the option to use the old tracking algorithm then (you can select this option in Advanced Tracking Settings section of the Tracking tab)
For multiple GPU configuration the new algorithm will be used if number of cameras / sensors is not more than 4 (in this case only the primary GPU is used). In most cases this will still be faster than using multiple GPUs with the old tracking algorithm. For more than 4 cameras the old algorithm on multiple GPUs will be used, as a faster option.
Iloura, the leading Australian-based animation and visual effects studio, first began using iPi Motion Capture (iPi Mocap) in 2012 when a staff member began experimenting with it on a personal project. That success led to a greater investment by the studio, which now includes a designated mocap space with nine PlayStation cameras. The motion capture solution was used by Iloura throughout season 6 of HBO’s hit show Games Of Thrones (GoT) during pre-production and production, including the “Battle of the Bastards” episode for which the studio was honored with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effectsat the 2016 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
In addition, their work on GoT earned Iloura top honors at the 2016 AEAF (Animation & Effects Awards Festival), winning a Gold Award in the TV Series category.
“iPi Mocap was used to extend the scale of the armies in the key battle scene, particularly when they were in formation facing each other,” Nick Tripodi, Iloura Head of Animation said. “Using iPi Mocap allowed us to generate a library of vignettes we could drop into any number of shots, as well as customize specific animation as required. We fed the cleaned up mocap animation into our crowd-related VFX platform to generate the large number of troops required to successfully generate the large crowd shots.”
Adds Dean Elliot, Iloura Lead Animator: “iPi Mocap is an incredibly reliable production tool. Once we had accurate dimensions for our actors, the software gave us a good solve 98 percent of the time. The main advantage of using iPi Mocap was that actors didn’t have to suit up before capturing a performance. The ability for one artist to handle the entire capture process — from performance and data management to processing — streamlined the workflow for us. It was cost effective, fast to capture and fast to process.”
Click here for a behind the scenes look at Iloura’s work on “Battle Of The Bastards” episode of Game Of Thrones: https://vimeo.com/172374044
Inverview to Broadcast Bridge about iPi Automation Add-on
Jay Ankeney writing for Broadcast Bridge recently spoke with Pavel Sorokin at iPi Soft about the company’s new Automation Add-On feature.
“Modern animation production has very complex pipelines,” Sorokin said, “and our iPi Automation Add-On allows them to create scripts that can alleviate repetitive motion tracking tasks. They use our software to create command sequences, and then apply those motions to automate various different characters.”
Congrats to Iloura for its Emmy win for VFX in Game of Thrones
iPi Soft congratulates our customer Iloura, the leading Australian-based animation and visual effects studio, on winning a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for its work on the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones (GoT) the “Battle Of The Bastards” episode. Iloura used our iPi Motion Capture software throughout GoT for pre production and production to generate a library of vignettes they could use to drop into a number of shots and also for custom shot specific animation. Stay tuned for more details to follow on the Iloura iPi Mocap workflow.
Additionally, the new tool enables the automation of repeated tasks and custom workflows – a particular benefit for high-end animation production in entertainment; and for tracking and visualization of motion capture data for medical, sports analysis and movement science applications.
“We’re pleased to offer third party software developers, and technically advanced users, this new means of accessing the benefits of iPi Motion Capture,“ Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft’s Chief Technology Architect, says. “The new Automation Add-on capabilities are designed to streamline integration of iPi Motion Capture into third party workflows for improved ability to send commands and get results of complex motion capture data. This is also a useful and cost effective solution for high-end visual effects and animation studios who need to automate frequently repeated sequences of operations and for healthcare .”
The Automation Add-On, which allows users to control iPi Recorder and iPi Mocap Studio via external application by sending JSON commands via Windows dll, is currently in beta testing with biomechanical software development company Anatomical Engineering for application use in the physical therapy and rehabilitation industry.
iPi Automation Add-On Pricing
The iPi Automation Add-On is activated using iPi Mocap Studio and requires a separate license key. Pricing for a one-year license is $495. More information can be found here:
iPi Motion Capture Becomes Key Creative Weapon For Popular YouTube Show «Death Battle»
With Viewers Per Episode Numbering In The Tens of Millions, Show Creators Integrate Markerless Motion Capture TooI Into Increasingly Challenging Workflow
Apr 18, 2016 – iPi Motion Capture, the leading markerless motion capture solution created by iPi Soft, has been added to the creative arsenal of the hugely-popular YouTube show “Death Battle” seen on ScrewAttack!, the production studio / entertainment brand under the Rooster Teeth umbrella, which creates content focused on gamer culture for YouTube and their website. Season Three of the show, which attracts tens of millions views per episode, recently premiered featuring a new, more sophisticated post production workflow anchored by iPi’s game-changing mocap tool.
“Using motion capture is a relatively new addition to the overall production process behind our 3D fights,” Torrian Crawford, Lead 3D Animator / Action Director for the hit online show, says. “It’s made making animation for humanoid characters a lot easier and provides a great base for any adjustments. The multi camera setup has also proved to be a great tool for creating non-motion capture animation references.”
Each episode of “Death Battle” imagines a fight to the death between pop culture’s deadliest characters. Told in a tongue-in-cheek, comedic way, the show features a “pre-game” section in which (much like a typical boxing broadcast), a hyper-sounding announcer outlines each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses. From there it’s time to rumble, with videogame style animation showcasing the often intricate fight sequences.
Crawford noted that the Austin, TX-based production has used iPI Motion Capture in concert with 6 PlayStation Eye cameras and 3 PlayStation Move controllers on ten episodes in the new season, featuring enhanced use of 3D animation.
“I have been using the software to lay down base animations for all realistic and sometimes non-realistic movements, stunts and actions,” Crawford explains. “The content is then saved and imported into Autodesk 3Ds Max where it is cleaned up and edited to fit the needs of the scene and characters.”
Crawford noted that iPi Motion Capture software proved essential on a recent episode featuring the character Dante (video game character from “Devil May Cry”) vs. Bayonetta (a videogame character) in which Crawford and his team needed to capture a large amount of the fight choreography and stunts.
“The affordability of iPi Motion Capture was huge for us,” Crawford says. “My experience with iPi Soft was so positive we decided to build out our in-house animation department and mocap studio using it. The software’s simplicity, flexibility and ease of use gives me the ability to track multiple people without the need for expensive suits or marker placement.”