Talk:Motion capture

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Marketing department[edit]

1/19/2009: Ironically I wrote the original Active Marker System paragraph, since I work for PhaseSpace and it got changed by Vicon and other companies to water down any reference to the company. I also wrote most of the segments in this article that have to do with technology rather than companies, and movies, and no one complains about those paragraphs. This includes the Active Marker, Magnetics, Passive Marker, RF and other sections. Every time I try to make this a level playing field it starts another Wiki War. This whole article needs to be re-written by someone with no bias, rather than just differing bias. Tmcsheery (talk) 20:08, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

The first line sounds like the marketing department wrote it.

I've reverted to "hobo" because the character isn't simply a generic "homeless man". He is a hobo: living on his own, "riding the rails" on the sly, fixing his dinners over a campfire, etc. It's how the character is identified in the credits. "Hobo" is a culturally and historically appropriate term, and it describes the character more correctly than "homeless man" does.

The paragraph about active motion capture reads like and ad.

I believe Final Fantasy "Spirits Within" holds the distinction of the first fully motion capture feature and not Polar Express. Both have motion capture and some animation thrown in on the top, but Final Fantasy beats it by a few years.

7/22/06: The Final Fantasy movie wasn't done with performance capture. The idea behind performance capture (and how it differs from traditional motion capture) is the fact, that first, the performance of the actors is captured to a computer (and possibly composited together, if all the actors in a scene weren't captured simultaneously). This is basically just traditional mocap. The difference comes after: In performance capture, the cinematography is done with a "virtual camera" that the cinematographer (or director, in Robert Zemeckis's case) moves around. The scene is rendered live and shown on the camera's viewfinder and the movement of the camera is captured as well, so it's possible to get more lifelike handheld camera movements, than it would be, if the movements were animated on a computer. No if only someone could make this apparent in the article.

And I agree, all the stuff about Imagemetrics and Phasespace read like an ad. Apparently someone from their marketing departments thought it would be a good idea to put a little marketing hype on wikipedia.

To me the difference between motion capture and performance catpure is that motion capture deals with just capturing a motion, which could be a crash test dummy in a car, or a footballer throwing a ball, or a kid walking across a room that has force plates in the floor. But performace cature deals with capturing an actors performance and in addition deals with part of the process of delivering that performance to the screen (capture, cleanup, retargetting, editing, placement). I think one of the first characters to really illustrate this was the relationship between andy serkis and gollum. Any any point of the production if there was any question as to what gollums performance was to be, the usual answer would be found by "looking at the andy reference". This reference may be filmed footage or motion capture data. The performance of andy was key towards the creation of gollum, and this to me is an illustraion of "performance capture". Zemekis and sony imageworks have taken "Performance Capture" on in a big way, but they by no means invented it. I would agree that final fantasy was the first film to use motion capture in a big way, but it would be wrong to say "fully motion capture" as there is always an editing process an animation augmented to the mocap. An example of making a movie without using performance capture would be to mocap 10 different people for the lead role, and let the animator or motion editor re-edit the performance to remove the unique subtleties that each actor brings and insert their own. I hope this illustrates my view of the difference between motion capture and performance capture. This article is full of application specific examples that has obviously been written by a vendor or someone close to a vendor. It also seems to use terms "Performance Capture" and "Motion Capture" interchangably. There is a lot of content that belongs under "Motion Capture", but there is some valid content that talks about "performance capture". Do Sony Imageworks or Zemekis have a trakemark on the name "Performance Capture", I thought I read that somewhere a while ago. Peeldog 00:24, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Spammed Link, What to do?[edit]

The target of the link to the world records of motion capture has been usurped by WikiSpammers -- an amazing daily rate of edits, and no apparent way to restore a sufficiently-old page to restore sanity even momentarily. Judging by the varying content, it may even be competing spammers.

I was able to navigate to a good page by clicking on the Home tab on the target Wiki, and then World Records tab. But I'm afraid that if I were to update the link on this page, it would lead to the good page being spammed instead, if it were being found due to being linked from here.

Now, these folks at the Motion Capture Society somewhat deserve what they get for running their Wiki so poorly, but I'm not eager to cause them more grief, nor am I eager to remove a link to an otherwise good (if small) site (better than all these commercial links), and yet the link as it is does not serve the reader.

For now, I'm going to annotate the link. I hope someone has a better idea. I hope the people behind the Motion Capture Society get their Wiki act together and block these spammers... Bob Kerns (talk) 18:23, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

More Merge Talk[edit]

My feeling is this article should be about motion capture technology and not the use, i.e. the process of digitally capturing real life motion data. Performance capture is an application of motion capture, as gait analysis in biomechanics, as is tracking an object to shoot it down by the military, as is a camera watching an assembly line so a robot can pick it up, etc. I think all the applications should be separate articles, and this article should cover the various technologies and methods, not the implementation by application or industry (save for the other articles). --Peeldog 03:55, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Don't Merge: Peeldog makes a great argument. Performance capture is an application of motion capture and not motion capture. --Xmurdoch 01:53, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Don't Merge: Agree with above. Indeed, "Motion Capture" gets about 8x more pages on Google than "Performance capture" (9.7M v. 1.25M) - mocap is clearly a topic in its own right. -- (talk) 00:24, 5 December 2012 (UTC)


It seems to me that the External Links entirely consist of companies supplying mocap products or services — is this in keeping with Wikipedia policy? --OldCommentator 16:13, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, most if not all of the External Links consist of mocap companies and are not keeping with Wikipedia policy (Wikipedia:Neutral point of view). Ramirror 01:13, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the External Links to manufacturers websites should be removed. One compromise would be to create another article entitled "List of Motion Capture Companies". This has been done for a number of other articles. 007patrick 06:29, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

I did not add external links to the edit I just made, but if you want a source for the mention of Disney distributing the Motion Captured film "Christmas Carol", here is an article:

I had added Motek Entertainment to the external links list since they offer free motion capture data, not just for commercial linking. This edit keeps getting deleted. I will add a "List of Motion Capture Companies" section and post it there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:14, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Merge with 'Performance capture'[edit]

  • Merge: Absolutely merge. Performance capture is not new nor is it unique. It is motion capture. Very unprofessional marketing from Image Metrics and Phase Space.
  • Merge: Extensive article on Motion capture covers the topic nicely. Performance capture is essentially the same thing (with facial capture added).
  • I agree completely. In the film industry we use motion capture technology to capture a performance. It makes no difference if points are added to the face; it’s still mocap. This should be folded into the Motion capture article. --OldCommentator 00:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Don't Merge: Performance is different than canned the same way stage is different than film. Often you will see overlapping components, but the intent is that motion capture is a subset of performance capture. The reason this is relatively new is high power video cards, with dual or quad core computers only recently made real time performance possible. KWCC and PDI did early demonstrations almost 20 years ago, but it has taken two decades for this to become a potential. As far as I know there is not yet a major TV show using live performance capture, although several were tried over the last decade. Let's not write it off yet. Bias of PhaseSpace Optical Motion Capture [1] Tmcsheery 23 March 2006
  • Merge: I must beg to differ. In both the film industry and in life sciences research there is no distinction made between "motion" capture and "performance" capture, except that the former is the generally accepted term. Please see: Vicon Peak, MetaMotion, or Motion Analysis.
True, in the early days of "mocap" (as it's now more commonly known), only gross motor movements were captured. As the technology progessed it became possible to capture ever higher resolution spatial data, including finger movements and facial expression. We now routinely output the motion data in real time. On the television show I'm currently on, a director directs two motion-actors while watching their CGI characters interact in real-time on the monitor.--OldCommentator 00:21, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Also, don't forget to sign your comments.--OldCommentator 00:21, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge As stated before, the terms are often use interchangeably, and Hollywood has not made statements of any sort declaring the two to be seperate techniques. (Although motion capture is used more frequently, as also stated before) ViceroyInterus 02:06, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge To the layman, these are essetially terms for the same concept. Any minor distinctions between the two should be explained in a single article. ~MDD4696 01:45, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Merge I agree that in the feature film business there is a considerable difference between the two - mocap and performance capture. However, I do agree that the two should share the same "space". I am more concerned that the article has some false or at least misguided statements regarding the use of mocap instead of animation. For instance Gollum was largly key frame animated with motion capture used as an underlying layer or reference. I would also venture to say from a politically correct point of view that mocap is used in Computer Graphics production. It has yet to be determined in my mind that if something is mainly "captured" using hardware and software that it can be called animation. And if so, mocap is not part of computer animation, but rather part of computer graphics production.
  • Merge. Big Mac is to double hamburger as performance capture is to motion capture. 19:43, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Don't Merge: Motion capture is the more generic term; performance capture is a specific application of motion capture. As noted in the main article, motion capture has many applications: animation, game development, biomechanics research, virtual environments, robotic control, and more. Motion can be captured without knowing what use will be made of the data. Using the term "performance capture" connotes an artistic or theatrical use and does not give proper recognition to its more hard-science applications. RobertM52 19:49, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Merge As mentioned above any minor distinctions between Performance and Motion capture should be explained in the motion capture entry. "Performance" is a more artistic term favored by actors, some of whom feel uneasy about the success of CGI movies. Use of that term then, may make them feel more comfortable with participating in a CGI project. All I've gathered from the 'don't merge' proponents is that Performance Capture is a good mocap system. 03:41, 17 May 2006 (UTC)Matt Smith, Polygon Pictures

Merge: Performance capture is a variant of Motion capture. The concepts are not distinct enough to warrant two articles. Furthermore, the term "performance capture" doesn't describe anything new, as we have been able to capture performance for over 100 years.... Porlob 20:57, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Dont Merge: I see them as seperate. Motion capture deals with capturing motion, which could be a crash test dummy or any other object in motion. Performance capture is the process of capturing an actors performance, and honouring that performance through the process of recreating it digitally in a 3d render. Peeldog 00:22, 5 September 2006 (UTC) Merge: Dah!!

Merge: Performance Capture does capture the motion of actors, objects, props, and the camera, as does Motion Capture. Performance Capture is the name used at ImageMovers studios for their Motion Capture process, while other studios such as House of Moves capture actor's performances with similar Motion Capture techniques without using the term Performance Capture.


The beginning of the Motion Capture article explains a brief history of Motion Capture in the 70s and 80s. Later in the article there is a section entitled history, where it looks like several different people are trying to claim inventors rights to motion capture in the 80s and 90s. I think that the second history section should be deleted, save for the bit about the Sinbad movie. Comments?

007patrick 01:56, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

This article should change its name[edit]

Instead of being called Motion capture, it should be called Performance capture. Motion capture is the original and more primitive version of performance capture, which is much more sophisticated. Actors act, they just don't move, which means it is their performance which is captured, not simply their motions. 12:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

There are many more applications for motion capture besides animation and film -- medical research, auto engineering, virtual reality, etc. -- all of these applications are capturing motion, not a "performance". Even animation and film are really only capturing motion. Truly capturing a performance would require much more data collection (i.e. audio, texture, lighting, etc.). From the arguments I've seen so far, Performance capture, as the term is used today, seems to be just motion capture and audio recorded at the same time. 06:26, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

12 megapixel spatial resolution modulated systems show more subtle movements than 4 megapixel optical systems by having both higher spatial and temporal resolution. ???? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:53, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

the cost can be potentially almost 0[edit]

so stop printing it's definitely going to be expensive; e.g. free software potential and hand made tools. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leladax (talkcontribs) 21:43, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Article quality[edit]

There is plenty of text here and just 2 references that probably will not pass WP:Reliable. But the text is not useless, and needs clean up etc. Does anyone here have deep expertise in this field? Else I may work on this gradually. History2007 (talk) 13:26, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

History lacking[edit]

Except for a fleeting mention in reference to games, there is nothing on the history of this technique. Can someone please tell us when it was first used, when it was first used in various other fields (e.g., sports, medicine, movies), and how it developed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Ultrasound positioning[edit]

What about an ultrasound analogy to RF positioning? Is it possible, or maybe ultrasound can't pass through body in the best way, or is it bad for health? Or is it completely possible and highly precise? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:05, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Please see [the original concept] from 120 years olds approximatly, the guy who created this is also the precursor of the cinematograph, created byt the French Lumières Brothers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Merge from Optical motion tracking[edit]

I added a merge tag to suggest Optical motion tracking to be merged to this article, specifically to the section "Markerless motion tracking". That section contains only one paragraph and could be expanded with the info on the other article, which i.m.o. doesn't warrant a separate page. Thoughts? --Waldir talk 13:00, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Looks like a good plan to me. HCA (talk) 16:02, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
Support. Looks also good to me. --Fluffystar (talk) 14:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I support merging. -- (talk) 18:15, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Wording in "Disadvantages"[edit]

Hi. I'm guessing that the statement "Movement that does not follow the laws of physics generally cannot be captured" is in reference to some specific situation that I'm unable to visualize. I completely agree with it, with the exception of using the word "generally"...versus 'certainly', or omitting it. I apologize for being pedantic, but without any further explanation on it, I see no need for this statement. The reason being, movement not following the laws of physics cannot exist (offscreen), so it's implicit that it cannot be captured.

Mouthematician (talk) 00:34, 13 March 2012 (UTC) Mouthematician


There is an enormous amount of original research and POV in this article, especially with qualitative claims and a list of advantages v. disadvantages, which should not lead the article body. The field isn't one I know well and I leave it to other editors with more expertise, but Wikipedia policies and guidelines I do know, and this article had numerous issues in that regard. I post this by way of explaining my edits and tags today.--Tenebrae (talk) 19:38, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I fail to see what is non-neutral POV. There doesn't appear to be a discussion on this talk page about neutrality. There should probably be more citations and references, but on the whole, to me, the article appears pretty helpful. So please cite the specific sections that have POV disputed, or else please remove the comment as per rules on NPOVD tags. -- (talk) 00:17, 5 December 2012 (UTC)
NPOV tag removed, according to policy undr rules on NPOVD tags (talk) 06:32, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

"Underwater Motion Capture System" seems like a copy/paste from a promo website[edit]

The section "Underwater Motion Capture System" reads like an advertisement. And it doesn't add much to the general technique of motion capturing. It doesn't say how problems concerning change in optical transmission under water were tackled. I suggest to remove this section all together. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Frodo Muijzer (talkcontribs) 09:34, 22 May 2013 (UTC)