Simple Character Animation Using Motion Capture

By: | April 14th, 2015

Character animation brings to mind Disney and its hundreds of characters created over decades: Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse, to name a few. Most of what Disney accomplished occurred in the early years when computers weren’t available, and creative work was done “old school” by hand. Later, artists used scanning and video editing to speed up the process of creating movements, walk cycles, bouncing, and exercises. Now professional animators almost exclusively use computers for character animation.

Adobe has created a new 2D motion capture software, a type of character animation software, which promises to make characters much easier to create. Similar programs already exist, including Toon Boom and TVPaint, and much of the current community of animators use Flash.

At the heart of Adobe’s new software is motion capture technology, or MoCap, which digitally captures human movements, mapping them onto 2D or 3D characters in the software program. The program integrates with After Affects CC, Photoshop, and Illustrator, and captures and reproduces movements using a mouse, keyboard, camera, and microphone. It synchronizes movements with an on-screen character’s movements, and creates programmed behaviors as well.

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David Russell Schilling

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