Lolwut? Strange Company’s releasing something?
Yes indeed. We have something of a big announcement - and this one is nothing to do with giant killer wasps.
Last month, we made a massive and very scary decision. We’ve invested in Strange Company’s most ambitious and frankly terrifying purchase ever: two MVN motion-capture suits from dutch company XSens.
The MVN suits are used on multiple Hollywood productions. They were used on X-Men First Class, and are being used on the upcoming Wolverine movie. These things aren’t hobbyist or semi-pro level - I’m not exaggerating when I say that we’ve now got the same mocap capabilities as some of the top Hollywood studios.
What do I mean by that? I mean that we’re no longer going to be using motion capture that needs a lot of cleanup (which is one of the reasons that DKLS is so late), can’t handle close movement, and has a range of 11’. With these suits, we can capture straight into Motionbuilder and directly onto our 3D characters (I can’t tell you how exciting that is). The motion they produce is pretty much always flawless - on our test movie (below) I had to manually keyframe exactly one thing, and that’s because I got it wrong. They can capture grappling, they can capture sword movements, they can capture actors lying down or crawling. And their effective range is in the order of 100m radius.
Yes, I’m quite excited about this.
What does this mean? Well, it means that you can expect our output to change from “1 film every 4 years” to something a lot more aggressive. The speed and fidelity of capture from the XSens suits is frankly incredible. We’ve already been able to make one short test film, we’ve finished off the next two films in the series apart from camerawork and rendering, and on the 18th we’re finally going to complete the mocap for our long-awaited Death Knight Love Story, the first part of which I’m hoping to release a couple of months down the line.
After that, it’s full speed ahead for more mocap, the second part of Death Knight Love Story in a LOT less time, and then… who knows? We’re already bouncing ideas around for an actual, honest-to-goodness once-a-week release series, either in Minecraft, WoW, or something else.
But for now, here’s our first MVN mocapped film, a little piece I’m calling “The Shy Creeper”. Enjoy!
Incidentally, if you want to get in touch, whether to talk about motion capture or just to say hi, please do. Comments are off here for now, although that’ll probably change soon, but in the meantime you can get in touch via email at info AT strangecompany DOT .. org or via Twitter or Facebook. And yes, we are looking at providing mocap services for games, film and Machinima, so let us know if you’d be interested in that!