No announcement yet.

Re: motion capture infrastructure

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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
    pachyderm gait!

    Jim Furmato

    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
    Phone 215-625-5367
    Cellular Phone 609-933-2017

    -----Original Message-----
    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

    Hello All,

    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

    Tel: 218-726-7501
    Fax: 218-726-6243
    Web page:

    "I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think"
    Socrates (470-399 B.C.)