Game Motion Capture with XSENS Link

Game Motion Capture with XSENS Link
a year ago - 3 min read

XSENS provides state-of-the-art motion capture technology in two different forms - Awinda (a strap-on solution) and Link (a heavy-duty robust platform with a lycra suit). Filmstorm bought the Link suit from our local distributor and friends at Tracklab in Australia. We have been putting it through its paces while working remotely and so far the results have been exceptional. Super clean data, none of the usual marker swaps or weird rotations you'd normally see from optical motion capture data, this was a game-changer.

We've been working on a few new Game Animsets and our turnaround time has improved significantly, just due to the fact we don't need to clean nearly as much data, we can just import the FBX's supplied from MVN Animate (the proprietary software of XSENS which connects to the hardware and records) and get straight into editing it into loops inside MotionBuilder.

I recorded a quick breakdown for our new Youtube video: XSENS Game Motion Capture + Motionbuilder Tutorial. You can watch it below here:

The Link suit we have captures at 240FPS which is excellent for motion editing. This provides us with more than enough data and in fact most of the time we downsample this via MVN Animate's exporter to 120FPS because it's too much data for Motionbuilder to run efficiently (especially when we are editing lots of takes).

The Durability and Setup

In terms of durability the suit has been working flawlessly, setup time was about 30 minutes cabling the suit and placing the markers correctly, the first few takes of course we needed to adjust our nodes slightly an error on our part, we had connected the chest node but it dislodged itself from the holder on the first suit try on, which resulted in a funny avatar wobbling over the screen. But it was easy to fix since the calibration tells you what's happening and how to improve your calibrations.

The Cost

The cost was a big factor, yes this suit is fantastic for one actor, but as soon as you need two actors the price essentially doubles, due to the fact you need to get another whole set of inertial nodes for the second suit. Anyway, it's perfect for our application but I would like to see the price decrease for more consumer availability.

The Software

The software MVN Animate is great, simple, and does what you need it to. A few requests I would like to see is model importing, especially for props - it would be great to see custom meshes on the avatar and replace them instead of the standard, Crutches, Sword, Gun etc... if there is a way to import a mesh into MVN Animate already that's great, but I guess the workflow they are encouraging is using Motionbuilder for previewing the data through the plugin, but since MVN Animate needs to reprocess the data in the first place it doesn't make sense to record the animation data in Motionbuilder instead of MVN Animate.

Thanks for reading and checking out this new video, we have a lot more content releasing shortly.

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