Vicon’s Shōgun Automates Calibration for Fast Mocap Solving
Vicon Shōgun is new software for solving and outputting skeletal data for animation following motion capture sessions. Developed to replace Vicon’s original Blade data solving software, Shōgun doesn’t require users to calibrate performers at the start of a session. Instead, Shōgun’s Live mode carries out the process automatically, during which performers entering the capture space are detected and labelled.
Note: Images in this article show Vicon’s original data solver Blade, as Shōgun images are not yet available.
A Range of Motion capture sequence then outputs a complete calibration including the scaling of Shōgun’s new skeletal mesh model. The mesh is designed with more functionality for the capture team than in Blade, so that solving data becomes more visual, immediate and easier to control and monitor.
This combination of automatic calibration and a functional mesh model helps larger productions, which Vicon notes are more frequently featuring dozens of performers, get a head start on actual performance data capture. The intention is to speed up and improve most aspects of the mocap workflow from system setup to exported data. For example, multiple actors often undertake complex interactions that can compromise or delay real-time visualization such as hugs, folding arms and working certain types of props. Shōgun aims to maintain the solves accurately throughout such interactions.
Vicon’s support for the major real-time game engines allows film and game directors to use the system to visualize how a final scene will look. Labelled, solved data from Shōgun is recorded directly to disk. Shōgun Post mode supports existing pipelines and HLS scripts, but also adds new data assessment functionality so that data can be processed sooner. A single-view, data-quality heat map shows gaps and problems across the complete capture, and a data health panel gives users an overview of data quality across multiple performers.
Shōgun’s active camera monitoring helps keep the system running continuously during a shoot by alerting operators to camera bumps, dropped frames and when any of the cameras have stopped contributing data. When issues do arise, live camera recovery enables the user to update a camera calibration within a few minutes using any tracked object or subject in the volume, without a full re-calibration. Vicon is showing Shōgun at GDC 2017 in San Francisco, 1-3 March. www.vicon.com