Game, set and match

Xsens powers NoGhost’s data-led Wimbledon ident


Since 1990, IBM has acted as the Official Supplier of IT solutions to the All England Lawn Tennis Club and The Championships of the Wimbledon Fortnight in London.

Using the latest in technology, IBM analyzes millions of data points throughout The Championships. It can then quantify that data, translating it into digestible information that helps tennis fans comprehend the truly superhuman talent demonstrated by the world’s top players.

Xsens technology recently played an important role in visualizing this approach – creating a stunning ident that immediately paired creative thinking with analytical data.

Digital tennis

Advertising agency McCann was recently tasked with creating a video ident that would represent the role played by IBM in The Championships. In order to deliver something truly stunning, the agency turned to full-service VR, AR and post-production studio NoGhost – part of the Friends Electric collective.

NoGhost immediately developed a compelling concept – they would capture a tennis player in motion, animate their performance, and layer effects to represent the data collection and analysis performed by the team at IBM.

“We wanted to create a film that would give audiences a sense of the density and complexity of the data that IBM collects across the tournament,” says Lawrence Bennett, NoGhost director. “Using a mixture of detailed motion capture and extensive Houdini simulation we were able to experiment with a large number of different looks, ultimately selecting the aesthetic that best told this story.”

Outside the volume

In order to realize this vision, NoGhost brought London-based ‘mobile motion capture’ firm The Mocap Studio into the fold. Their responsibility: to manage the performance capture of the tennis player, a task which they approached using Xsens inertial mocap technology.

This way, the performer had complete freedom of movement, with no need for a restrictive, complex and expensive stage setup. The Mocap Studio could capture “outside the volume”.

“We capture motion as a photographer would capture an event,” begins Simon Legrand, The Mocap Studio CEO. “We don’t mind where in the world we go or what environment they’re in: we turn up and capture subjects wherever they are, rather than have them come to a facility. Xsens MVN technology enables this way of working perfectly.

“With Xsens, we can capture clean, effective data wherever we need to be – even complex motions like that of a tennis player!” he continues. “With little data clean up required, we can work quickly and effectively a wide range of project types.”

The future of motion capture

A long-time user of Xsens technology, The Mocap Studio has recently spent a great deal of time with the latest MVN beta. You can read about it on our Xsens blog.

“The Xsens solver and mobility of the technology were something that initially attracted us to it as a solution,” says Legrand. “Now, having tried this next generation solver, we’re seeing even more value as a studio, and even more for our client. With the latest version of MVN we can create clean data quicker than ever before, not to mention capture motion in more environments than we knew possible with inertial technology”.

Thanks to this new, streamlined technology, NoGhost were able to quickly get to work on look development and delivery on the final piece. Game, Set and Match.

Credits

Direction, Editing and Animation  : NoGhost
Motion Capture  : The Mocap Studio
Production  : Friends Electric
Exec Producer  : Alex Webster
Producer  : Orlaith Turner
Production Assistant  : Maryam Anibaba
Creative Directors  : Alexei Berwitz, Rob Webster
Advertising Agency  : McCann London
Agency Creatives  : Jess Mallet, Lottie Sole
Agency Producer  : Angelica Polonczyk
Agency Account Director  : Tommy Smith

 


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