Autodesk Maya: We use Autodesk Maya software because we can easily hand scene files over to the final visual effects provider without going through any conversion or translation process. We have also developed our own add-ons to Maya so our artists can do shots faster. With a standardized character setup, we can quickly pull from a library of pre-existing animations and efficiently copy animation from one character to another.
Moven (Motion Capture Suit): We use motion capture to quickly create the animation needed for any sequence. Traditional animation works fine for one or two characters, but imagine a sequence with 5 or 10… or hundreds. Our revolutionary marker-less and camera-less motion capture system alleviates the need for a fragile motion capture stage, crowded with permanently set-up equipment. We can use our system in any size room and anywhere that has electricity with almost zero setup time.
Our system also eliminates the need for time intensive tracking or motion capture data solving. We can capture the motion and have it on one of our characters in a scene in a matter of minutes.
THE DIRECTOR’S ADVANTAGE
Intersense Camera System: In the past, previs presented a challenge for some directors because it didn’t allow them to walk around in the scene and do their own camera moves. After our experience working with Robert Zemekis, we realized we could improve our process by investing in the same type of camera tracking system that he used on Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. The system matches the movement of a camera in the virtual set to the real world, allowing the director to physically hold a camera. Wherever he moves the camera, it moves in the virtual world as well.
The director can pan, tilt, dolly and crane his camera, all while watching on a jumbo monitor to see what it looks like in the virtual world. When the director calls "action" the sequence can be played back in real time as the director’s camera movement is recorded. The camera movement can be played back and cleaned up or edited as needed. This process offers the more hands-on director the ability to get in there and interact with the sequence in a way that is impossible with traditional previs tools.