Xsens motion capture technology used by movie and game making professionals, is now available to Chico State students in the Computer Animation and Game Development Program (CAGD). The technology was brought to Chico State through the collaborative work of CAGD lecturer, Frank Pereira, and Xsens North America Inc.
The full-body, wearable motion capture suit with sensor technology, called Xsens MVN, is applied by Chico State students to 3D character animation for a professional experience that will ensure they are prepared to enter the field. In the educational environment it is crucial to offer student’s opportunities to work with industry standard equipment and software in a quick, streamlined process.
“Our program is comprehensive and intense yet we need to be flexible and introduce new technologies and new workflows to our students in our tight schedule. We need to be able to teach them the latest technology in that short window of time. The Xsens MVN systems allows students hands-on experience in how professional animators work. It also allows them to create high quality animations themselves,” says Clarke Steinbeck, CAGD Program Director.
The Xsens MVN motion capture system, fondly referred to as “Mocap” by the students, faculty and professionals, consists of a full-body suit fitted with ultra-small motion sensing trackers that allow the suits wearer to do motions, rolls, stunts and movements that can be tracked and applied to a 3D character. “The system allows us to go anywhere. We’re not confined to a defined space. We have the freedom of capturing motion anywhere!” says Kollin Stewart a CAGD student.
CAGD Lecturer, Frank Pereira, has incorporated use of the mocap system into his animation and video game courses. He says, “It’s exciting to see the quality of my student’s work increase while the amount of time for cleanup and final production is going down. It engages the students fully and many are excited to get into the suits and even more excited when they see they finished character animations. I like knowing I am sending them into the professional animation field prepared with practice in a professional workflow.”
The Mocap system is bringing together students for collaborative projects as well. “I wanted my character to have the soft motions of a ballerina so I asked a dance student to perform some movements in the suit. My project turned out even better than I had imagined” says Connor Zelinsky, a CAGD student.
Chico State students are now able to incorporate clean, production quality data into their projects with the flexibility of a true professional. Xsens mocap system is the future of 3D character animation and Chico State students are reaping the benefits.
The future of film and game development is ever changing and motion capture is a crucial aspect that continues to lead the way. The Xsens Mocap system puts Chico State on the leading edge. “Using Mocap makes our students better equipped to enter the professional field and more attractive to prospective employers” says Frank Pereira, CAGD Lecturer.
Chico State’s Computer Animation and Game Development Program and the Xsens motion tracking technology is a collaboration providing students a professional workflow experience. Xsens level of flexibility and ease of use makes them ideal for educational and professional use.