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OptiTrack ships Motive 3.0

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 | Posted by Jim Thacker

OptiTrack has released Beta 1 of Motive 3.0, the latest version of its motion-capture software designed for use with its optical motion-capture hardware.

The long-awaited update introduces the Quantum Solver, a new full-body solver that supports tracking of “more than 10 skeletons or more than 300 rigid bodies at real-time speed”.

Other key changes for entertainment artists include support for finger tracking via Manus’s motion-capture gloves, and a more streamlined interface and workflow.

Motive’s price structure has also changed, with the old Motive:Body edition rising $2,000 in price, and a new ultra-high-end Motive:Body Unlimited edition for tracking more than three characters at a time.

The current stable version, Motive 2.3, released earlier this month, added support for anchor markers, and made it possible to use up to 250 cameras simultaneously.

Calibrate, solve and stream data from OptiTrack optical motion capture systems
First released in 2013, Motive plays a similar role in OptiTrack systems to Vicon’s Blade and Shōgun software, handling system calibration and data solving, visualisation and processing.

The systems can be used to track passive reflective markers or OptiTrack’s LED-based active markers.

Motive exports data in standard formats including BVH, C3D and FBX, and comes with integration plugins for streaming data live into Maya, MotionBuilder, Unity and Unreal Engine.

No updates for nearly two years, then two come along at once
Motive 3.0 has been a long time in the making, version 2.0 of the software having shipped in 2017.

Until earlier this month, the software hadn’t been updated since 2019, something that was beginning to cause disquiet on OptiTrack parent company NaturalPoint’s forum.

OptiTrack has now released two updates in quick succession, beginning with OptiTrack 2.3, the current stable build of the software, which shipped earlier this month.

The release added the option to use anchor markers in a tracking volume to help the continuous calibration process, and increased the maximum number of cameras that can be used in a capture volume to 250.


Motive 3.0: new Quantum Solver can track up to 10 actors in real time
To that, Beta 1 of Motive 3.0 introduces the Quantum Solver: a new full-body solver intended to reduce latency and improve the quality of the solve in situations with a lot of marker occlusion.

The new solver can track “more than 10 skeletons or more than 300 rigid bodies at real-time speed”, although to track that many actors, you need a new Motive:Body Unlimited licence – about which, more later.

Motive 3.0: support for new hardware for finger tracking and movement sciences research
Other changes include support for finger tracking via third-party manufacturer Manus’s OptiTrack gloves, and support for OptiTrack’s current PrimeX cameras, making it possible to capture at up to 1,000Hz.

Users working in movement sciences get support for Delsys’s Trigno EMG sensors; and simplified set-up and better synchronisation of force plate systems.

However, Motive 3.0 is not compatible with OptiTrack’s USB cameras, including those from its lower-cost Flex range, although these are still supported by Motive 2.3, which remains commercially available.

In addition, Motive’s user interface has been overhauled, and calibration and capture workflows streamlined.

Highlights include the option to previsualise data captured on a skinned character, and much greater scope for customising key bindings via a “radically redesigned” hotkey editor.

You can see the new UI in the video at the top of the story, and find a list of changes here.

Price changes and new editions of the software
The 3.0 release also changes the pricing structure for Motive, removing the old paid-for hardware dongle, and introducing several new editions of the software.

The Motive:Body edition, required for full-body capture as opposed to object tracking, rises in price from $2,999 to $4,999, and is now capped at capturing three actors simultaneously.

To track four or more actors at a time, users need a new Motive:Body Unlimited licence, which costs $9,999.

There are also two new editions of the software for editing recorded data: Motive Edit, which is limited to three character skeletons, and which costs $2,499, and the $4,999 Motive: Edit Unlimited.

Motive:Expression, the old edition of the software for facial tracking, is still available to to existing users, but is no longer being developed actively.

Pricing and availability
Motive 3.0 is available for Windows 10. The software is currently in commercial beta.

Motive:Tracker, designed for object tracking, costs $999; Motive:Body, designed for full-body capture, costs $4,999; and Motive:Body Unlimited, designed for capturing more than three actors, costs $9,999.

The integration plugins for MotionBuilder, Unity and Unreal Engine are free. Data streaming to Maya requires OptiTrack’s Insight VCS virtual camera system, and costs a further $1,000 for the integration plugin.

In addition, there are two new editions of the software for editing recorded data: Motive:Edit is limited to three character skeletons, and costs $2,499; Motive Edit Unlimited costs $4,999.

Motive 2.3, the current stable release, is also still available, and is compatible with Windows 7+. Its own Motive:Tracker edition costs $999 and its Motive:Body edition costs $2,999.

Read a list of new features in Motive 3.0 on NaturalPoint’s forum

Find an overview of Motive’s features on the product webpage

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