Asterman Digital Production Company is a Belarus and Israel based service company offering production of computer videos and animation, illustration, mobile and casual games, AR/VR.
The company was created by a professional artist Alexander Podgorny in 2016. The main goal of the team is to fulfil the creative ideas of the customers.
Alexander Podgorny, the head of «ASTERMAN»:
«We had a definite task to bring a technological effect into the show. Thus we offered to animate mascot Liesik (a digital personage) by making it actually present. It is a significant symbol of the European games, that’s why this decision to personify and make it ‘alive’ works not only as to draw attention, but it also creates a serious emotional story.
The team came up with the idea that pre-prepared animations for this one would not be interesting enough as they don't provide flexibility while communicating with the audience. But 'a live mascot' in the real-life mode would embody the creative presentation.
The main idea of implementing was that the mocap would include face, body and hands tracking in the live mode.
We have a certain expertise in Unity 3D game drive, thus we were looking for the suits supporting this drive.
Our partners from Mocap Tech provided an Xsens suit, which worked with unity 3D, that's why our team had solutions for production. We studied the plug-in, and function samples on the Xsens website. There we got an understanding of how to implement the task. To adapt a 3D personage in the suit, we used an allocated person. In accordance with the ARKit requirements to capture faces and mimics it brought in some changes to the personage's skeleton for the broadcast and animation to be clear and smooth.
On top of it using this Xsens suit, we could place the actor in a small room.
And everything worked out really well. Due to the easy function of the Xsens plug-in and Unity 3D, we managed to meet the tight deadlines, where the work was completed within two days.
As a result, at the official presentation of the Eurogames 2019 Torch Relay, where the famous Belarusians, sportsmen, cultural figures were joined by the 'live' 3D model of the Eurogames talisman - a foxcob Liesik as a co-conductor, who was moving around, making comments, joking, while being an image on the screen.
This in particular became a unique and meaningful special feature of the event.
Simultaneous usage of face, body and hands movement capture for animating the personage in the real time mode is the task which requires plenty of time and precise setting. The developers faced the query of how to implement this idea promptly and by reliable means.
How we found the simple solution for a Live-animated personage.
To synchronize the personage movements and the actor in the real life mode we applied the Xsens suit to capture the movements.