Formed 5 years ago in Vietnam, Plus Studio is an animation production house specializing in commercials, VFX, 3D visualization, and the creation of CG animated content. The studio is known for its high-tech facilities and expert animation capabilities, and recently produced the hit kids cartoon series for the dairy brand, Kun. The series is a story about a ‘super farmer family’ that protects their dairy farm from fantasy villains. Each Kun series has 6 to 10 episodes and its characters have appeared in TV commercials and musicals.
But beyond its well-deserved commercial reputation, Plus Studio has also applied its expertise to healthcare and social causes, creating an application for both deaf and autistic children. One such project is its Ban Mai software – through this application, parents complete tests to assess their child's autism level, supporting experts in the process of planning intervention, building exercises, instructing exercises, and monitoring.
To help the studio's rapid production of content, Xsens MVN Animate is Plus Studio’s principle motion capture solution for all of its productions, both commercial and educational. We spoke with Vu Duy Nam from Plus Studio to find out more about the studio’s use of motion capture and how its projects have transformed the lives of children.
A suite of professional production software and hardware is essential for any studio aiming to produce high-end CG animations, and Plus Studio is no exception. With Xsens MVN Animate driving it's character movement, the studio then combines the technology with a game engine and rendering tools to great effect. The adaptability of the Xsens suits makes this a seamless process.
“We first used Noitom for motion capture before we decided to switch to Xsens in 2017, we quickly found that Xsens met our needs perfectly. We have a small studio of about 30m2 to record motion capture,” said Vu.
“One feature of Xsens, that we’re especially satisfied with, is its flexibility in implementation. We’re also aware that realtime animation is a growing trend, and using Xsens gives us many advantages in this field.”
Xsens’ compatibility with animation software and game engines means Plus Studio can easily work with animation using Blender, Eevee, Cycles and Unreal Engine 4 for its productions.
“Depending on the requirements of each project, we choose the appropriate technology. For instance, we use the Xsens Gloves by Manus gloves with Xsens to capture hand motion for our sign language project. Our team uses a head-mounted iPhone for facial capture, MocapX for Maya and Live link Face for UE4, and we developed a pipeline to use iPhoneX with Blender. We find that the iPhone is quite effective,” explained Vu.
Sign Language Directory
Plus Studio has become an important partner to several Vietnamese institutions, including the Ministry of Culture, Education, and Science. Its work and technological advancement in the field of education and special education for children with disabilities has seen big successes – one such success is the Sign Language Directory. The studio has established an academy to train people with hearing impairments to learn 3D animation, offering the participants the opportunity to work in the studio after completing the course.
Plus Studio used Xsens motion capture technology to animate a 3D character that could translate spoken language to sign language using AI, supporting the students taking part.
“Alongside our Animation Studio, we have a team that develops software, specifically AI. We used Xsens motion capture helps us to digitize sign languages gestures, and then our system converts voice to text, adjusts the text to adopt sign-language grammar of people with hearing impairments, and from this to 3D animation,” said Vu.
“The animations are used to build a sign language dictionary and sign language teaching software, teaching vocabulary and grammar. This system will help all people learn sign language, supporting communication between people with hearing impairments and people without,” continued Vu.
Plus Studio’s ultimate goal is to employ 30% of its staff from the education project, the landmark software can even help children with difficulties reading.
“Another feature that’s being developed involves creating a 3D character that can read books to people with hearing impairments, converting from text to sign languages. This is because many people with hearing impairments in Vietnam have difficulties in reading,” said Vu.
Check out Plus Studio’s website and keep up to date with the latest project developments across history, education, and more.
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