Motion Capture in Virtual Production

5 min read 23.02.2023 Insights

Following the explosion of virtual production over recent years, motion capture (mo-cap) technology is becoming more important than ever before.

Combining live human performance with game engine technology, the use of motion capture within virtual production allows producers to direct their talent and see their animated characters rendered in-camera.

If you’ve watched the short film, Goliath, you’ll have seen this combination of cutting-edge tech in action - working with Unreal Engine and motion capture suits to bring a 20-story-tall digital creature face to face with human actors, interacting and performing together in real-time.

Goliath Motion Capture Virtual Production

Our CUBE Studio crew recently completed a three-day training programme focused on Motion Capture within Virtual Production environments, building on their practical skills, technical know-how and understanding of the creative possibilities that this tech has to offer.

Delivered by Final Pixel Academy and ScreenSkills, in partnership with Target3D, the programme covered the principles and applications of motion capture, with a focus on how it’s used within virtual production environments, for everything from film and animation to advertising and gaming.

CUBE Crew Motion Capture Virtual Production

Hands-on experience

Senior Producer, Lorcan, explained that “after years within the industry as both a Camera Operator and Director, it was amazing to finally be able to see and feel the tech in real life, instead of reading about it.”

The team experienced first-hand how game engines are used to create digital characters and creatures for TV and film, including high profile productions such as The Mandalorian, before taking the opportunity to render their very own high-quality, bespoke 3D character.

Elevating the creative and storytelling process, it’s great to explore how this technology can allow production teams, like us, to capture live interaction between digital and human characters, in-camera, in real-time.

Motion Capture Virtual Production
Motion Capture Virtual Production

Virtual Production for brands & advertisers

When we hear virtual production, we often think Hollywood blockbusters, stadium sized studios and BIG budgets!

A real stand-out for us has been seeing first-hand how accessible virtual production can be, not only for film and TV, but for advertising agencies and production houses.

Our Lead Producer, Owen, explained that “it was really great to see virtual production tech being used in a smaller environment, and the diversity of the types of content that can be created.

“Motion capture and virtual production are now becoming increasingly accessible, and together, they provide a great, creative solution for brands and advertisers to create bespoke, powerful campaigns that stand out in their industry.”

Motion Capture Virtual Production
Motion Capture Virtual Production

From concept to character

Virtual production really begins in the game engine - this is where your wildest imaginations become reality, and virtual environments and characters can be built and edited, in real-time.

But perhaps even more impressive than the tech itself, was being able to witness first-hand the entire journey, from concept to character.

Apprentice Cameraman, George, said that he “really loved seeing the process from start to finish, and getting stuck in as the creative process progressed across the two days.

“Being able to see what’s happening on the screen and make changes to environments and characters in real-time, while interacting with the actors right in front of you, is a gamechanger!”