So, after several days worth of work I now have a tool which can transfer a large majority of BVH motion capture rig motions onto my character rigs. I have also procured about 3GB worth of high quality motion capture files (~2500 recorded motions) made available via Carnagie Mellon University. Actually CGspeed is where I got the files, as they took out time to convert all the motions into BVH format, which is what most 3d applications support. The motions are stated to be free to use for any purpose, and because the authors realized that searching through these motion files could be a challenge, they also provided a very detailed and searchable XML spreadsheet file. So, if I need a “sneaking” animation, I can just search that word and I’ll likely find the filename/location, and the BVHV application I made recently will let me sift through animations quickly to determine whether they are appropriate to use or not.

The Delura mocap adaptation program isn’t perfect and there are some instances where cleanup will be required, but here are the things it will do for the Delura project:

– 1 click pairs the Delura rig to the motion capture animation and makes it ready for position adjustment. I plan to make all animations start on the +Z axis in 3d space origin so re-usable animations will be effortless to utilize. Out of the box the result is good enough for mid-range shots. Closeups or low-to-the-ground shots will require a straightforward “binding” of the legs to calculate distance by leg length and solidify foot placement.

– Ability to use mocap without being stuck using a mocap rig. So, I get the boost in speed and quality without the setback of being at the mercy of a rig poorly suited to manual character animation. This also means I can transition in and out of mocap motions easily.

– Animations saved to one character can be used on all characters due to the recent updates I’ve done for the Delura rig; this includes mocap modified animations. Because the original rig is used to “target” the mocap motions, it doesn’t matter how the rotations and rest positions of the bones differ.

I can’t wait to start using this new weapon in production… the tests have yielded awesome results and it’ll be nice knowing that I’ll be able to focus much more on the motions that matter like character interaction, choreographed movement… you know, the stuff that makes the environment believable.

In the future, I’ll be able to use the same technique used to create this mocap adapt program on low-budget mocap solutions where I would perform the actions desired in front of a motion tracking camera… but that’s long-term thinking. For now, I’m content with what I have available.