The Previs Department of 20th Century Fox and The Third Floor have been working on 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: First Class. They used the Xsens MVN motion capture system for previsualisation (or previs) to significantly speed up movie productions.
Animators at the Previs Department of 20th Century Fox and The Third Floor use previs to blueprint the story, scenes and design technicalities of a movie in advance of filming. It’s a process that relies heavily on 3D animation tools like the Xsens MVN suit.
By first creating a 3D animation proxy of the movie – complete with virtual sets, actors and props – filmmakers can now design and plan their films at much lower cost, while speeding up things in the digital production pipeline.
Not all scenes make it to the final cut. In the scene in the movie below, the scene did not make it to the final cut of the film – a decision made at much lower than traditional cost, due in large part to the Xsens MVN. “We were able to develop the scene in just two days. Traditional keyframe animation would have taken much longer and would have involved more artists”, says John Griffith, Cinematic Director at 20th Century Fox.
Shannon Justinson, previs supervisor at The Third Floor says the actors can perform complex scenes and instantly review their motions as they are applied to models in real-time. This amount of creative control creates an opportunity to give an audience something they haven’t seen before.
In this second movie by The Daily you can see more about the previs The Third Floor did for X-Men:First Class. You can also see the Xsens MVN suit in action.