iPi Soft

Motion Capture for the Masses

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Using iPi Soft Tools To Design A Safer Workplace

Posted on: August 31st, 2021

Using iPi Soft Tools To Design A Safer Workplace

A Q&A With Marco Capuzzimati, Research Fellow at University of Bologna

To hear many future-of-work theorists tell it, the manufacturing workspace of the future is one that will be increasingly filled with humans and robots working together. These collaborative robots — or cobots — work alongside humans without any separation. Moreover, they’re easily reprogrammed making cobots ideal for repetitive or dangerous tasks humans would prefer not doing.

But how do you know if the cobot is safe to work around humans? How far should the arm move? How fast? Figuring out those details is the job of researchers like Marco Capuzzimati, a researcher at the University of Bologna, who use markerless motion capture software tools like iPi Motion Capture to work out the range of motion details using the software before trying it out in the actual workplace.

In fact, scientist and medical researchers discovering innovative ways of incorporating motion capture technology led iPi Soft to create the Biomech Add-On, designed to enable visualization of tracking data for gait analysis and rehabilitation, sports motion analysis and research in 3D human kinematics.

We spoke with Marco about his work and how he’s using iPi Soft technology.

Q. Tell us more about your work?

MC: The project aims to create a management and feeding system for a collaborative cell, represented by a human operator and a cobot, or a collaborative robot. We are developing a system capable of being autonomous in the feeding phase, such as selection, picking and storage, of parts and components involved in the production process.

Q. How are you using iPi Soft to analyze movements? Is this being done in the assembly cell area of a warehouse?

MC: We stream mocap data from iPi Mocap Studio 4 to Unity 3D where we can do a biomechanical analysis of the movements both in the warehouse and in the assembly cell.

Q. Can you provide additional detail on the biomechanical analysis?

MC: We have developed a C-sharp code to handle the incoming mocap data. The data is then sent to a Microsoft HoloLens where we can do biomechanical analysis. We are particularly focused on the angles between certain joints so we can determine critical configurations.

Q. How does motion capture technology help in your research?

MC: Motion capture is helping us in warehouse settings where the cobots and people work together to load components and various parts onto warehouse shelving; and in the assembly phase with support from cobots and people doing tasks that cobots can’t do. The ergonomic design of the assembly cell is very important to maximize operator satisfaction and system performance, so the main objective of motion capture in this project is ergonomic optimization and risk assessment following the execution of certain assembly or load handling activities. In this way we can optimize system performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Q. Can you describe the assembly cell in greater detail? Is the assembly cell a specific area of a warehouse where the robot is assembled? 

MC: The entire area of the ‘Pilot Line,’ as we call it, consists of a warehouse setting with inclined shelves. An assembly cell is formed by a fixed cobot and a flexible working table, this is the main area of interest. These elements allow cobots to carry and move materials and components from a warehouse to the assembly cell.

The main objectives are real-time biomechanical analysis of human operators and application of the ergonomic index for risk assessment during work activities. We have to analyze every single movement during assembly and consider the weights of the parts and components handled, the frequency of handling and the efforts that the operator has to make.

Q. Finally, how long have you been conducting the motion capture research at the University of Bologna? Is there an end date?

My research in the industrial engineering department began in September 2020 and is scheduled for completion in July 2022. I’m looking forward to future projects and opportunities to deploy this motion capture technology.

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Picture 1. Marco Capuzzimati, University of Bologna researcher, pictured here at the Bi-Rex: Big Data Innovation & Research Excellence competence center, is conducting biomechanical analysis using iPi Soft motion capture software on workplace safety between humans and collaborative robots (cobots).

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Picture 2. Marco Capuzzimati, University of Bologna researcher, pictured here at the Bi-Rex: Big Data Innovation & Research Excellence competence center,  is using iPi Soft motion capture software to analyze workspaces between humans and collaborative robots (cobots), to ensure workplace safety.

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Picture 3. Marco Capuzzimati, University of Bologna researcher, is using iPi Soft motion capture data in conjunction with the Microsoft HoloLens to conduct biomechanical analysis in warehouse settings to ensure workplace safety where humans and collaborative robots (cobots) will be working together.

Digital Media World Reports on Plugin Announcement for iPi Mocap and Unreal Engine

Posted on: April 6th, 2021

Thank you Digital Media World for reporting on our exciting plugin announcement for iPi Mocap and Unreal Engine. This integration is an ideal real-time workflow solution for game developers, virtual production content creators, and more. Take a look at the news here.

https://digitalmediaworld.tv/animation/3534-ipi-soft-develops-real-time-integration-for-ipi-mocap-and-unreal-engine

#iPiSoft #iPiMocap #UnrealEngine #gamedev #virtualproduction #motioncapture #DigitalMediaWorld

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iPi Soft Announces Real-Time Integration for Unreal Engine

Posted on: March 24th, 2021

iPi Soft Announces Real-Time Integration for Unreal Engine

New Plug-in and Enhanced Features Deliver Immersive Experiences for Markerless Motion Capture in Game Development, Virtual Production

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – March 24, 2021 – iPi Soft, LLC, developers of the markerless motion capture technology iPi Motion Capture, announced a series of new enhancements supporting Unreal Engine suite of development tools for real time content creation. These iPi Motion Capture enhancements include a new plug-in that affords real-time motion tracking, motion transfer to 3D character and animation streaming into Unreal Engine.

Pavel Sorokin, iPi Soft’s recently named CEO, explains that closer integration with Unreal Engine via the new plug-in gives motion capture users the ability to stream tracking results to Unreal in both the live feedback and offline tracking mode, thus allowing creators to see how motion will look on their character in Unreal Engine and in their particular 3D setting. Additionally, users can have both iPi Mocap Studio and the Unreal Engine editor open simultaneously for viewing animation changes in real-time.

“We are excited about the creative possibilities the new plug-in will deliver to our customers already working with Unreal Engine,” Sorokin says. “Users can now preview captured motion in an actual game scene inside the Unreal Engine editor and integrate the animation stream from iPi Mocap Studio into Unreal Engine for a more seamless and immersive experience.”

Sorokin noted that previously iPi Mocap users working in Unreal Engine would have to export animation from iPi Studio to FBX or BVH files, then import assets to Unreal. “The tighter integration into Unreal is a huge benefit that will provide iPi Mocap content creators increased flexibility to create game, virtual production and other projects quickly and with more accurate results without the need to create custom code.”

Beta Results Prove Positive:

New Discovery, a full-service digital agency based in Mexico and the US, took part in the iPi Soft beta-testing program of the closer integration of iPi Mocap and Unreal Engine for a VR documentary entitled, “Northern Route, Border Identity.” Funded by the Secretary of Cultural Affairs of the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, the project takes an empathetic look at the refugee experience that has slowly become part of the border region’s social-economic fabric.

“We were incredibly impressed with the fidelity of the iPi Mocap data,” Jonalex Herrera, CEO and co-founder of New Discovery, says. “Even with two Kinect Azure sensors, the results were amazing. Best of all, we were able to push animation streams directly into Unreal to realistically share details of the refugees’ journey in search of a better future.”

Link to the press-relese on PR Web>>

Pricing and Availability:

iPi Motion Capture Version 4 is available as a perpetual license or subscription-based model. Prices range from $165 to $1995 depending on the version of the software (Express, Basic, Pro) and duration of the subscription. Additional information on iPi Soft 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, configurations or a 30-day free trial please visit http://www.ipisoft.com.

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iPiSoft’s CEO Interview to Startup.Info

Posted on: March 2nd, 2021

We are excited to share this interview with our new CEO Pavel Sorokin in the business entrepreneur news site Startup.Info.

In the Q&A Pavel discusses his vision for the company, how it’s weathering the Covid pandemic and how we continue to innovate and lead in the markerless motion capture space. Enjoy!

https://startup.info/pavel-sorkin-ipi-soft/

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Pavel Sorokin Appointed To iPi Soft CEO

Posted on: February 8th, 2021

Pavel Sorokin Appointed To iPi Soft CEO

Company Co-Founder Michael Nikonov To Continue As Chief Technology Architect

Moscow, Russia – February 08, 2021 – iPi Soft, LLC, the leading developer of markerless motion capture software technology named  Pavel Sorokin, current Chief Operating Officer (COO), as  the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

“I am excited to lead iPi Soft into our next stage of growth and deliver on our promise to bring the most accessible and reliable motion capture products to market that help our customers achieve their creative goals,” Sorokin says.

“We will continue to improve our existing product inventory and remain focused on innovating products compatible with real time applications and making use of rapid advances in AI tracking tech for exceptional user-experience.”

Since co-founding iPi Soft in 2008 with Michael Nikonov, Sorokin has held various roles including lead developer, finance and administration, business development/marketing, as well as spearheading major strategy and technical shifts across the company’s product lines.

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As CMO, most notably, he introduced iPi Soft and its markerless motion capture solution, iPi Motion Capture, to US, European and Asian markets leading to its adoption into some of the world’s most prestigious VFX and creative studios and educational institutions. His efforts have also been instrumental in marketing the real time capabilities available in iPi Motion Capture and the software application’s integration into leading game engine platforms including Unity and Unreal. Additionally, Sorokin managed the marketing strategy for iPi Biomech, an add-on motion capture software tool that opened new channels for markerless tracking and visualization of motion capture data for medical, sports analysis and movement science applications.

Sorokin succeeds Nikonov, current iPi Soft Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Architect. Nikonov will continue as Chief Technology Architect to lead technology development efforts that strengthen iPi Soft’s focus on quality and innovation.

“Pavel brings hardcore engineering skills, global business perspective and marketing savvy to his new role,” Nikonov says. “I can think of no one better to lead iPi Soft at this exciting juncture in the motion capture technology industry.”

Prior to iPi Soft, Sorokin served as Founder and CEO of Irbicon, a Moscow-based IT service provider of business analytics solutions to customers form financial and telecom industries. Before that he held project managerial roles at Samsung Research Center in Moscow. Over the course of his career, Sorokin has also assumed various software engineering positions. He holds a degree in applied math from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

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, configurations or a 30-day free trial please visit https://www.ipisoft.com.

Markerless Mocap Trends 2021

Posted on: December 24th, 2020

iPiSoft’s Founder/Chief Creative Architect, Michael Nikonov, shares his thoughts in PostMagazine’s annual “Outlook” issue on trends that 2021 may bring to markerless motion capture technology.

Read Full Interview>>

Get To Know iPi Mocap Artist…Raul Ruiz

Posted on: December 20th, 2020

Get To Know iPi Mocap Artist…Raul Ruiz

From time to time, we like to take a closer look at the artists that are using iPi Soft technology in interesting and innovative ways. This time we are shining a spotlight on  Raul Miguel Ruiz Esquer, a Mexico-based, self-professed creative jack-of-all-trades working as an audiovisual producer and 3D animation artist. Currently, his one-man studio is focused on the realization of 3D cinematics.

Raul came to our attention in September with his submission to our mocap contest. His elegant 3D dancer piece, “Big Bang Portal” was the winning entry due to its originality and the incredible detail he was able to portray using iPi Mocap along with Autodesk Maya and Epic Games’ Unreal Engine: https://vimeo.com/446939597

We spoke with Raul from his studio in Tijuana, Mexico

Q. How did you first hear about iPi Mocap and how did you use the software in your winning entry?

RR: first time I started using iPi Mocap was around 2012 when I was a student learning 3D and downloading all kinds of software and experimenting. The idea of an affordable way to make 3D motion capture was compelling since the mocap technology at that time was expensive and not accessible to the broader audiences.I started using iPi Mocap again this year for my winning piece “Big Bang Portal” as I noticed iPi Soft had made several improvements to the software. This video captured in the piece was created using iPi Recorder and iPi Mocap Studio. It is a work in progress for a short film I am currently producing.

Q. What benefits does the software bring to your content creation workflow?

RR: Since I was young, I have always wanted to create my own 3D animated movies. I have been studying the spectrum of 3D software applications with the goal of being able to create as a solo artist. When I first heard about iPi Mocap I knew it was a perfect match for me. As a one-man studio I need to make ongoing technical and budgetary decisions to support the artistic vision. The main advantage of iPi Mocap is being able to capture high quality animation instead of making it by hand and trying to recreate the illusion of life for my characters. It was very daunting at first because just to make one shot used to require a team, but with iPi Mocap the animation can be achieved accurately without sensors with one person or a small team of individuals. This is huge because it improves the productivity from a cost-effective perspective, but also allows an independent artist to direct a creative vision instead of wrangling a production. I can prototype fast and spend more time working on the creative, fun side of the project.

Q. What hardware are you using with iPi Mocap?

RR: My studio setup is nothing extraordinary, but it delivers results: Intel Core i7-3820 (4 core 3.6 ghz) with P9X79 LE  Motherboard and 16 gb ram; Nvidia 1080 GTX; 2 Kinect Xbox One; 2 SIIG JU-P20612-S1 – Adapter PCIe 2 port USB 3.0.

Q. Can you tell us how you have already used iPi Mocap and your plans for using the software with the Unreal Engine?

RR: My plan is to produce films and series. Right now I’m continuing to experiment creatively using the iPi Mocap pro license on a personal project that I’m hoping to release soon. My plan is to acquire two additional Kinects to make a four Kinect setup to capture additional recording of acrobatic action sequences and different dancing styles.

Looking to the future I would also like to try using the software with the Azure Kinect to raise the quality of my captures.

The use of the Unreal engine was a choice made with the solo team structure in mind. It is just so much simpler to direct, assemble and render sequences using the Unreal editor. As a director, having more control of the output using the real-time pipeline provides additional creative flexibility.

I have studied and prepared myself to be able to execute my creative vision.

I’m happy that iPi Soft granted me a license and thanks to the contest, I feel closer to achieving my artistic aspirations.

To see more of Raul’s work visit his Instagram and Facebook pages.

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iPi Soft’s CEO Michael Nikonov interview in Spanish

Posted on: October 13th, 2020

Dessignare Media published iterview with our CEO Michael Nikonov in Spanish.

Link to the inverview:

https://www.dessignare.com/2020/10/el-futuro-del-motion-capture.html

Production HUB interviews iPi Soft’s CEO Michael Nikonov

Posted on: October 9th, 2020

In a recent interview with Production HUB, our CEO and CTO, Michael Nikonov, spoke about the benefits of using iPi Mocap during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. With Hollywood live action productions largely suspended and college animation students in the U.S. recently returning to an online learning environment, he outlines that our markerless motion capture software can find its place in the complex production pipelines of the big studios and is particularly effective for concept testing, previz, and background animation of large crowds or secondary characters that don’t require high levels of detail. The motion capture system can also be done at home or in a small office space, making it a good choice for remote work and learning.

Read more: https://www.productionhub.com/blog/post/the-state-of-the-markerless-motion-capture-art-with-michael-nikonov

iPi Soft Again Sponsoring Renderosity 2020 Halloween Animation Contest

Posted on: October 1st, 2020

iPi Soft Again Sponsoring Renderosity 2020 Halloween Animation Contest

Just like a ghost, iPi Soft keeps coming back…as a sponsor of the Renderosity Magazine Halloween Animation Contest that is.

This year’s theme is “Costumes, Cauldrons & Concoctions,” and iPi Soft is again giving away a free iPi Mocap Pro Perpetual license to the Grand Prize winner.

With zero preparation time – no markers, no sensor suits – coupled with our recent addition of real-time tracking and live-streaming capabilities into popular game engines such as Unity and Unreal, the iPi Mocap solution gives users the tools to help ignite scare-worthy content in minutes.

Submissions are being accepted now and will end on October 8th, when community voting begins. Voting closes on October 31 and winners will be announced that day.

For all the details go here. Good luck from everyone at iPi Soft. We look forward to watching your submissions (with the lights on of course).