OptiTrack Tech Tappedfor Character Animation and Camera Tracking
Microsoft Studios’ 343 Industries, the leading force behind the wildly popular ‘Halo’ franchise, recently released “Halo 5: Guardians” to widespread critical acclaim. In preparation for the development of the latest installment, 343 Industries built out a new 50’ by 50’ motion capture stage outfitted with a state-of-the-art OptiTrack motion capture system. 50 Prime 41 cameras captured the live human performances and delivered the digital character animation data for in-game action and interactive cut-scenes.
“We were drawn to OptiTrack because of its reputation, and the system changed our lives. We went from having a painfully tiny space to a versatile setup that provides super clean data and allows us to do everything we need. Motive is very intuitive, simple to use and powerful. It’s highly stable and we’re able to get results quickly,” explained 343 Industries Motion Capture Supervisor Mark Tanner.
Added 343 Industries Cinematics Director Brien Goodrich, “When I’m working with actors on set, my hope is that I'm not even thinking about technology. Our OptiTrack system affords a seamless mocap experience that allows me to focus on the performance.”
Considering the diversity of characters in the ‘Halo,’ 343 Industries relies on mocap to implement a wide range of action, from subtle movements up to full blown stunt work with actors leaping off props and performing complex grappling scenes. During the height of production, the mocap system was used daily for everything from prototyping and character concepting, to providing keyframe animation reference and final solves. OptiTrack’s Insight VCS (Virtual Camera System) was also used for virtual camera work for the cut-scenes in “Halo 5: Guardians.”
“Setting up a character by hand to evaluate if it might work in the game is quite a bit of an investment. One of the great things about having the OptiTrack system always at our fingertips is that we can quickly jump from hashing out concepts to suiting up and trying out ideas on a low res model,” said Tanner.
OptiTrack creates the highest performing 3D tracking hardware and software available today and has become the largest motion capture provider in the world. By delivering the best 3D precision, simpler real time workflows, and free and open developer access, it has become the favorite of industry leaders in biomechanics, game and film production, university education and research, engineering, sports performance and injury prevention, and many others.
The OptiTrack product line includes motion capture software and high-speed tracking cameras, contract engineering services, the GEARS Sports training and fitting solution, and affiliate commercial tracking products TrackIR and SmartNav. The entire line is manufactured at it’s Corvallis, OR campus, enabling the industry’s lowest pricing by huge margins.
Notable engineering, biomechanics, and animation customers include: The Ohio State University, Nike, The Mayo Clinic, Toronto Rehab, Cobra Golf, Under Armour, DX Sports Labs, The Performance Lab, Boeing, KMel Robotics, NASA, Harvard Medical School, Oculus VR, Lockheed Martin, John Deere, Mechdyne, Under Armour, Stanford University, Duke University, Laser Shot, Mitsubishi, and Dassault Systems. Entertainment customers include: Activision, Electronic Arts, 343 Industries, US Army Game, Cloud Imperium, Square Enix, Ready at Dawn, TV Globo, NetherRealm, Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Crytek, Remedy, Game On Audio, The Moving Picture Company, Animatrik Film Design, and other top studios and developers around the world.