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Motion Capture

Motion capture, motion tracking, or "mocap" is a "technique of digitally recording movements for entertainment, sports, and medical applications" (Motion 1). Where filmmaking is concerned, motion capture refers to the "technique of recording the actions of human actors, and using that information to animate digital character models in 3D animation" (Motion 1). Motion capture has its origins in the pioneering photography work of moving images conducted by Eadweard Muybridge in the late 19th century, but the first individuals to analyze human and animal motion with video was Etienne-Jules Marey (Windsor 1).

Motion capture is used for film and animation, video games, and sports, where motion capture helps athletes analyze body movement and performance. Animation is the "rapid display of a sequence of images of 2D or 3D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of motion" (Animation 1). Motion capture is also relied upon to a great extent for video games. Video games are games that "involve interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device" (Video 1). While both modern filmmaking, especially animated films, and video games rely heavily on motion capture there is a significant difference between the two media. According to Sanders (1), the "major difference between the two formats is that a movie is meant simply to be viewed while the purpose of a video game is to interact."

There are a number of different types of motion capture, including both active and passive forms. Active forms of motion capture include electromechanical suits, optic fiber, strobing LED and acoustic, while optical and acoustic forms can also be passive. Each of these different forms of motion capture has its strengths and weaknesses, such as the ungainly nature of electromechanical suits or the lack of accuracy in acoustical systems compared to other forms (Windsor 1). From a primi...

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Motion Capture. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:59, May 27, 2020, from