Re: motion capture infrastructure
Hi Dr. Levy,
I'm glad this is understood as a "large" topic: size counts in this
case! Prepare to build a workspace that varies from a small TV studio
to a soundstage, depending on what you want to accomplish, and you have
a basis of comparison when you solicit bids. Sound proofing is not
critical in design, but vibration damping is important if you are
collecting ground reaction forces to determine kinetic information.
Your space needs will depend on the activities you plan to capture.
Will you be limited to humans or will other species be used (pachyderms
need more space than canines, for example)? Will there be special
equipment (think gymnastics, movie props, fencing or pole vaulting
equipment)? Do you need space to accommodate actions which precede
imaging (e.g., runway to build up speed for a broad jump or to develop a
steady gait pattern)?
You need to define a volume for the activities you wish to accommodate.
Find an open floor and have a subject move around and mark the
performance boundary with tape. Use a tall subject. The data
collection cameras for motion collection should be mounted about a meter
higher than your highest marker. The imaging cameras have about a 30
degree (cone shaped) field of view. Picture how your cones overlap.
The wider the base you taped out, the farther back the cameras will need
to be. To capture a section of walkway 1 meter wide and 2 meters long,
our cameras are about 3 meters away from the center. Our cameras are
placed about 2.5 meters above the walkway. Our walkway is about 17
meters long with the volume of interest (1m X 2m X 1.5 m) in the middle.
Before you start planning the all-inclusive lab, have you surveyed your
facilities for existing space that could be used? Is there an indoor
basketball or tennis court you could borrow for really big projects?
Most camera systems are portable. You may need blackout curtains to cut
down on sunlight and may need to bring in your own lighting, but this
could save you a bundle in facilities and construction cost. Then you
could build the small TV studio sized center instead of replicating a
James Bond sound stage.
Whatever size you chose, you will need changing areas, rest, snacking
and office areas for your staff. Your data server should be in a
separate area and you may need workstations for image processing.
Depending on your setup, you may need a conference room or small theater
for reviewing work or storyboarding discussions. If you go large, you
may want a small studio for close up work (facial expressions, detailed
Finally, motions captured in a small stage can be placed in a large
virtual stage later. But if you do need the big stage, check out the
Royal Veterinary College in London (UK) to see how they measure
James A. Furmato, DPM, PhD
Chief Engineer, Gait Study Center
Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedics and Medicine
Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
TUSPM Gait Study Center
148 N. 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19711
Cellular Phone 609-933-2017
From: * Biomechanics and Movement Science listserver
[mailto:BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL] On Behalf Of Morris Levy
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 4:29 PM
Subject: [BIOMCH-L] motion capture infrastructure
Our university governance is entertaining proposals for an
infrastructure initiative related to the large topic of "imaging". As
part of this topic, a multidisciplinary team of researchers from areas
as varied as arts and design to ergonomics and biomechanics is seeking
to put forth a proposal for a "state-of-the-art" 3D motion capture/
video lab, including space and equipment needs.
I am seeking some information on space needs (dimensions etc),
equipment, and other resource issues from those of you who may have
been involved in such an endeavor. I would also be appreciative to
hear from those of you who have used different motion capture systems,
and from those of you who may have been involved in using motion
capture for entertainment or artistic endeavors.
Thank you in advance for your responses.
Morris Levy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biomechanics
Dept. of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
University of Minnesota Duluth
Web page: www.d.umn.edu/~mlevy/
"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think"
Socrates (470-399 B.C.)