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Saturday, 26 March 2011 18:29

Flying The Flag

As the head of the Motion Capture Society, and with over 15 years of experience on films including The Matrix Reloaded, Watchmen and the upcoming Green Lantern and Rise of the Apes, Demian Gordon is perfectly placed to explain the true impact of mo-cap on the industry.

What is your background in motion capture?
I first began working in the motion capture industry at Electronic Arts Canada in 1995. I was a supervisor of special projects at Sony Pictures [from 2002—2009], which meant that I had a wide variety of duties, from on-set motion capture supervision, tracking supervision, pipeline implementation and next-generation technology development. During my time there I helped develop the process of performance capture. The video games industry has been using mo-cap for years.

Why do you think film has been slower to adopt the technology?
Video games are inherently computer-generated, while films have historically been predominately live action. That has been the norm for many years, but I think the use of mo-cap in film has been on the rise simply because there is more CG in films these days. When you have one or two shots in a movie you can have an animator do it all, but when you have a cast of thousands who are CG, you probably want to use motion capture.

How has mo-cap changed during your time in the industry, and what role do you see it playing in the future?
In the early days of motion capture, I seemed to be the only person who saw it as an integral part of the film industry. Now it’s a household name, and widely accepted. I see film and motion capture as one and the same; one is the digital version of the other. People still don’t look at it like that, but I know this to be true.

When I was first starting out, I happened to see a documentary about Thomas Edison and his invention of the film industry. They listed a bunch of things about the early film industry, and I realised that the list of things described the current state of motion capture. I realised that film and motion capture were the same thing; it was just that motion capture was so crude, that people didn’t recognise the two things were the same. Mo-cap is just film in 3D, and one day the two things will be indistinguishable from one another.

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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."