The Montpellier campus acquires a motion capture equipment
- thème School News
- date 07.05.2021
The Montpellier school has integrated a professional motion capture system into its film studio. This high-end equipment will benefit both students and professionals who wish to use it. This large-scale device, absolutely unprecedented for a school, is in line with our pedagogical commitment: to offer cutting-edge technology for quality training.
A UNIQUE PROFESSIONAL SYSTEM IN THE REGION
The CinéCréatis school, through the Creative Campus of which it is a part along with the ETPA, IPESAA and ESMA schools, has integrated a new professional tool into its studio: motion capture (more information on this process at the end of the article). In all, twenty or so Vicon cameras (currently the international leader in this sector) are placed on grills, spread out in a delimited space of 7m x 7m x 6m. A set of 4 suits, all equipped with sensors, completes the set. The specialized software (Shogun) finalizes the whole, allowing to retranscribe the live capture while integrating it in a computer in order to allow thereafter the creation of the digital project.
This installation in the heart of a school is unique in France, as this high-end tool is normally reserved for professionals. This motion capture studio will be accessible to the various schools on the Montpellier campus, since this technology can be found in CG animation as well as in traditional cinema and in the world of video games. This is a unique opportunity for our students to test and familiarize themselves with this material.
In addition to being made available to students, professionals who wish to do so can also work with this system. Barely installed and unveiled, motion capture is already attracting numerous requests from companies! This will open new possibilities, allowing a sharing of knowledge between professionals and students, thus developing a synergy within the Cité Créative de Montpellier.
This installation is the result of a collaboration between the Creative Schools and the companies Progiss, Vicon and GPEM.
ABOUT THE FILM STUDIO
This 600m2 space, divided into 3 independent studios with 10m high ceilings, is equipped with an extraordinary acoustic insulation. Indeed, each wall is composed of several layers of insulation to obtain an optimal sound insulation as well as an acoustic slab on the floor composed of anti-vibration springs. The work areas can be separated by removable partitions, allowing multiple activities.
Also, each studio is equipped with a motorized grill (metal structure used for lighting), cycloramas covered with stretched canvas, including a green background, as well as professional filming equipment including the famous 20 motion capture cameras, 4 black magic cameras and other cameras used on movie sets, numerous LED projectors, 36 of which are from the renowned ARRI brand, offering a multitude of lighting possibilities, high-tech microphones and recorders, as well as well as a well-stocked machine shop.
THE OPINION OF THE PRO
Damien Masson, technical manager of the studio at the Campus, gives us his professional opinion:
“This equipment allows our students to evolve in an exceptional professional environment; indeed, due to the evolution of these new technologies, young talents will be able to master a technique that is emerging more and more in current and future productions. It is essential that our training courses evolve in line with the new tools and uses, so that our students are in phase with the realities and needs of the professions.
When students carry out their projects, this tool offers them more and more advanced possibilities. For example, students in 3D animation and special effects now have the possibility to work on their characters directly via a human performance instead of animating the skeleton step by step.
Having such a facility locally also allows companies in the region to realize their projects with professional equipment without having to relocate. This not only enhances the value of local companies but also attracts professionals from international studios.
In Montpellier we chose to install a system composed of twenty cameras (compared to 4 or 6 cameras on average), in order to have an extremely precise rendering of each body movement. The surface area covered by these twenty or so cameras was also thought out in order to have the widest possible coverage in terms of actions. Motion capture has enriched this incredible studio and is leading us to develop our future technological investments.
WHAT IS MOTION CAPTURE?
Motion capture is a technique for recording the positions and movements of people and objects. To do this, the actor wears a suit equipped with sensors that are detected by cameras. Thus, all the actions carried out will be restored on a computer in synthetic images. Afterwards, these same captured images will be reworked by 3D animation professionals to create a character or special effects. One of the best known examples of the use of motion capture is that of Andy Serkis, playing the character of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by director Peter Jackson.