What is Performance Capture

Performance capture (P-Cap) is a process that records the movements, facial expressions, and voices of actors and uses them to create digital characters. This technology is used in a wide variety of media, including video games, movies, and TV shows. Motion Capture is often base moves while Performance Capture is more nuanced.

Performance capture uses Motion Capture markers/sensors as in to track the movements of a performers body. This data is then used to create a ‘digital skeleton’ or wireframe of their body, which can then be animated. Facial Capture data is used to create a digital model of the actor’s face, which can then be mapped / animated to create realistic facial expressions. Finger data might also be captured.

Voice capture is also an important part of performance capture. Often this is recorded simultaneously in the volume. [More here]

Performance capture is a complex process, but it can be used to create incredibly realistic digital characters. Some examples of famous characters that were created using performance capture include:

  • Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movies
  • Avatar from the Avatar movie
  • Joel and Ellie from The Last of Us video games

Performance capture is a powerful tool that allows filmmakers and game developers to create characters that are more realistic and believable than ever before.

ELI5 version:

Performance capture is a way to record a person’s movements, face, and voice and put them into a computer. This is useful for creating life like characters in video games and movies.

To do performance capture, the person wears a suit with markers on it, the markers are tracked by cameras, which capture the person’s movements in 3D. The computer then uses the data from the cameras to create a digital skeleton of the person’s body and a digital model of their face.

The animator can then move the skeleton’s bones and facial muscles to create different poses and movements. The animator can also add skin, clothes, and other details to the person to make them look more realistic.

Performance capture is used in a lot of different things, like video games, movies, and TV shows. It’s a great way to create realistic characters that would be difficult or impossible to make by hand.

Would you like to train as a performer? [Read how here]

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