Vicon Adds Lifelike Movement to ‘Siren’ Interview – Tim Doubleday, Vicon VFX Product Manager
April 6, 2018 – Excellent Interview by Vicon. Interview by Tim Doubleday, Vicon VFX Product Manager. Today, he talked about Vicon Adds Lifelike Movement to Epic Games’ Real-Time Digital Character ‘Siren’.
About Tim Doubleday, VFX Product Manager
Tim has spent the last 3 years working on film and game productions including ‘Star Wars’, ‘Final Fantasy’ & ‘Battlefield 1’ with The Imaginarium Studios. He now joins Vicon to help create the next generation of motion capture tools and products for use on future VFX based projects.
What’s the latest features and technology used in Epic Games Siren?
Shogun 1.2 was used to bring the Siren project to life. We solved Alexa the actress’s marker data directly onto the Siren rig using a custom skeleton solve. This allowed the motion capture data to stay true to her performance and removed the need for an extra re-targeting step.
Creating a Motion Capture Technology for Gaming It’s awesome! Share something about that?
The line between game and film characters in getting closer and closer. The Siren project shows how the advances in digital humans has improved over the last ten years. The incredible thing about the Siren character is that she runs in real-time at 60 fps.
Vicon’s Shōgun software was also used for Epic Games Siren. How it is helpful for that?
Using Shogun allows the user to record and capture the 3D data direct to disk including body and finger animation. This data can then be replayed instantaneously for review in Shogun removing the need for additional post processing.
What is the basic requirement for full body performance capture?
Alexa our actress was wearing a skin-tight Lycra suit. We attached 59 reflective markers onto the suit. 53 markers for the body and 6 smaller markers on her fingers. The cameras can then track the markers and using Vicon Shogun we can label and fit a skeleton to the marker cloud.
Motion Capture movement transferring Hardware to Software devices? Share something about that?
Vicon are both a hardware and software company. For the Siren demo we used our new Vantage 5-megapixel cameras. These have a wide lens option and have very low latency which is very important when running a real-time demo. We made sure to run timecode, this allowed us to sync up the body, face and audio which again is critical when working with lots of different hardware sources.
For creating a motion capture character, How they support for Cubic Motion and 3 Lateral?
Working with amazing partners like Cubic Motion and 3Lateral allows Vicon to raise the bar when it comes to presenting demos like Siren. Cubic’s advanced real-time facial tracking applied to 3Lateral’s stunning facial rigs creates the perfect combination of technology and art.
Can you share some fun stories to creating Epic Games Siren?
We recorded two sessions before the GDC presentation. The results can be seen in the Epic keynote. Vicon have recently moved offices and having Alexa, Cubic and Epic all visit our new studio was a great experience. We’re not setup to record sound though so we had to put posters up on all the doors asking the rest of the office to stay quiet!
Any of the performance capture you already created for Epic Games?
Epic Games have been a Vicon customer for many years. Their recent smash hit ‘Fortnite’ uses Vicon motion capture as does the Star Wars real-time raytracing demo which was also part of the Epic keynote.
What about your future plan and upcoming projects? Anything you want to share with us?
We had a blast working on the Siren project. Working with industry leaders like Epic, Cubic Motion and 3Lateral was an honor. We’d love to work again together in the future…
A big thanks for your time.
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