Strange Company is the world’s oldest pro ‘Machinima’ production company, making films in 3D virtual worlds to tell stories that couldn’t be told any other way. Strange Company is a one man company founded in 1997 by Hugh Hancock and Gordon McDonald and they have produced award-winning independent films as well as commercial films for the BBC and Electronic Arts.
Recently Strange Company invested in two Xsens MVN motion capture suits. For Hugh Hancock, the main reasons for this decision were: “We’re no longer going to be using motion capture that needs a lot of cleanup, can’t handle close movement, and has a range of 11′. With these suits, we can capture straight into Motionbuilder and directly onto our 3D characters.”
With the use of the Xsens MVN suits Strange Company can release lots more films than they did before, the quick turn around times of the motion capture system gives them great flexibility. “You can expect our output to change from “1 film every 4 years” to something a lot more aggressive. The speed and fidelity of capture from the Xsens suits is frankly incredible”, says Hugh.
Watch the first project they did using the Xsens MVN suits:
For this small movie the motion capture was pretty much always flawless. For this test movie they had to manually keyframe exactly one thing, and that’s because they got it wrong, not because the motion capture date was wrong. Hugh is very excited about the suit and continues: “They can capture grappling, they can capture sword movements, they can capture actors lying down or crawling. And their effective range is in the order of 100m radius.”
For a small company like Strange Company it’s a challenging business decision to invest in two Xsens MVN suits. But the speed and flexibuility it gives them, makes it a worthwhile investment. “Currently, I’m thinking that this was possibly the best business decision we’ve made in years – particularly with the Motionbuilder integration that’s meaning we can preview everything live”.
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