Shogun to change VFX motion capture

Introduced at FMX 2017, Shogun, the new software from Vicon, offers the entertainment industry a new level of efficiency and quality, to meet the growing demands of game, film and VR production.

Shogun to change VFX motion capture

Designed from the ground up and based on feedback from the industry and customers alike, Shogun is a step change in the way Motion Capture is used. Three decades of experience support the new solution from Vicon.

Video games explored the advantages of Motion Capture intensively, when games started to look like films, but the technology has many other applications. That explains why Vicon, the motion capture technology specialist for the entertainment, engineering and life sciences industries, used FMX 2017 to announce their latest VFX motion capture software, Shogun. FMX is the International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia, which was held in Stuttgart, Germany, this May.

Vicon has a tradition in the area, as it has been involved in the industry from the beginning. From the first blockbuster movie to use motion capture in 1995 to the creation of the first out of the box head mounted facial capture system. From Industrial Light and Magic, The Imaginarium and Sony, to Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA and Square Enix, Vicon has worked with a wide variety of leading visual effects houses and games companies for over 20 years.

The new software, designed from the ground up and based on feedback from the industry and customers alike, capitalizes also on over 30 years of motion capture experience and years of research and development. Shōguns innovative new feature set delivers increased performance alongside intelligent real-time system monitoring. A streamlined workflow delivers high fidelity real-time data, helping mocap users maximize studio time in order to deliver projects on time and within budget.

Live calibration is one new aspect to consider with Shogun. The software eliminates the previously time-consuming process of calibrating performers from captured data in Post. Performers now simply enter the capture space and are automatically detected and labeled, the calibration is then run in the background during the Range of Motion. Boasting a new skeletal mesh model, the software is designed to be highly functional, making data solving easy, visual and immediate. This cuts down the traditionally time-consuming process of labeling subjects, cleaning data and calibrating markers.

“With today’s large productions featuring anything between 5 to 15 actors, Shogun has been designed to help industry professionals streamline their captures, saving time and money. Subject Calibration – a process that used to take 20 minutes can now be achieved in less than a minute.“ said Tim Doubleday, VFX Product Manager at Vicon.

Another new aspect to consider is the streamlined workflow the software offers. Shōgun’s unrivaled data quality ensures that labeling and solving stays true. With Shogun’s un-breakable real-time it’s possible to capture multiple actors undertaking complex interactions, such as folding arms, hugs and stunt work with props. With direct support for all the major real-time game engines, the pre-visualisation and animation processes are enhanced – providing direct visualization of the final scene.

Shogun to change VFX motion capture

Users are also able to record their data direct to disk, meaning onset review is almost instantaneous. This saves hours of post-production time and allows artists to focus on the remaining pipeline. These enhancements help accelerate productions, shaving days off the post production pipeline while increasing data quality and efficiency.

Re-calibrating motion capture systems can cost time onset, especially for large studio shoots involving multiple actors. Working with Vicon’s industry leading cameras, Shōgun provides intelligent, real-time feedback to users on all the important factors affecting camera and system health. Enabling teams to quickly recalibrate cameras on the fly within minutes, whilst continuing to capture performances. New features such as the Data Heat Map assist users capturing very challenging shots, as Shōgun automatically finds, highlights and navigates users to frames where data may require attention.

Alexandre Messier, technical director at Ubisoft a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, who has been beta testing the Shogun software for several months alongside Vicon, said: “Most of our game teams are now asking for real-time pre-visualization, with Shogun’s auto skeleton calibration, we can now stream accurate data into 3rd party’s solution in seconds – allowing teams to maximize their precious time on the shooting floor. Shogun is adding speed to our data processing pipeline. Most importantly, that speed is not sacrificing any data quality. Instead, it exceeds what we’re producing with Blade.”

Imogen Moorhouse, CEO, Vicon, said “Shogun is a step change in the way our customers use Motion Capture. Whether you’re running a large production with a hundred cameras or a small start-up with a handful of cameras, Shogun has been designed to save you time, save you money whilst delivering the highest quality data.”

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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