Vicon, developer of Academy Award-winning motion capture systems and a division of Oxford Metrics Group, has announced the sale and installation of a 48-camera Vicon MX motion capture system to Activision. The system is providing Activision, its developers and co-developers, with dedicated in-house motion capture capabilities. It has already been used to complete major Activision titles including Call of Duty 3, with the Activision team more than doubling its capacity for producing character animations for cinematics and game play.
“In evaluating motion capture solutions and manufacturers, it was clear that Vicon was making the big push,” said Matt Karnes, Director of Motion Capture, Activision. “I like the focus of Vicon; I like its hardware, its software and its people. I like the fact that they are production minded and have product development paired up with real-world production. The way data is captured with the Vicon MX cameras is flawless. In the five months since we’ve had the Vicon system, a team of two of us produced over 20,000 character animations – more than I’ve ever done in a year!”
The Vicon MX system allows Activision to record multiple performers in large capture volumes with a high degree of reliability and detail. Call of Duty 3, Activision’s first title out of the gate with Vicon, saw the company completing full-body and detailed hand capture simultaneously on up to eight performers, with complex character interactions, elaborate props and even simulated water.
“Vicon MX definitely gives us the capability to allow the directors and prop guys free reign to capture extremely complex scenes,” Karnes added. “On Call of Duty 3, we were able to deliver more than twice as many character seconds as was planned for, which helped the producers add a lot more to the game.”
Karnes says Activision’s fast and efficient workflow is furthered by use of Vicon iQ and House of Moves Diva software. Both applications are used for superior data handling at the “back end.”
“Vicon has been providing motion capture solutions for games for more than a decade,” said Nick Bolton, Chief Executive of Oxford Metrics Group. “In that time, the requirements of the developers and platforms have grown exponentially. With the accelerated performance and 4MegaPixel accuracy of our cameras and software pipeline, we make it our goal to be wherever pace-setters such as Activision want, or need, the technology to go.”
Activision joins dozens of leading games companies around the world that are producing titles with Vicon MX. Call of Duty 3 is scheduled for release this month for the Xbox 360 and Xbox, PlayStation 2 and 3 and the upcoming Wii from Nintendo. Additional Activision releases completed using Vicon MX, include World Series Poker and Pimp My Ride.