Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 Posted by Jim Thacker

iPi Soft updates markerless mocap tool for dual Kinects

Dual-Kinect capture in action with iPi Soft’s markerless mocap software.

iPi Soft has added support for two Kinect game sensors to its low-cost markerless motion-capture software.

iPi Soft Desktop Motion Capture previously permitted users to record motions with only a single Kinect or PlayStation Eye camera. The software is also compatible with standard digital cameras.

The feature, which is available in the Basic and Standard editions of the software – priced at $595 and $995, respectively – is available as a free update to registered users.

Indie comics/animation duo Little Green Dog has already used the dual-Kinect setup on a neat little 3D short. Check it out further down this post.

iPi Soft, developer of the iPi Soft Desktop Motion Capture, a line of markerless motion capture technology, has announced the breakthrough support for two Kinect sensors. The new dual-Kinect configuration marks the first time in history that users can have two of the popular game devices working at the same time on the same PC to capture complex human motions, including 360-degrees turns: a huge boon to filmmakers, CG animators, broadcast motion graphics designers, videogame developers and prosumers in entertainment, military, medical and other vertical markets.

Michael Nikonov, iPi Soft’s Founder and Chief Technology Architect, explains that previous versions of the iPi Soft Mocap software included support for a single Kinect device or multiple PlayStation Eye cameras only. The new upgrade makes it possible to use two Kinect sensors giving digital storytellers – especially game developers who are challenged to create realistic human characters – the power of a multi-camera system, and eliminating the need for expensive marker suits and green-screen stage shoots.

The new dual-Kinect feature is an important upgrade that delivers on iPi Soft’s commitment to give users the most accurate, easy-to-use and affordable motion capture tools to create believable humanoid motion characters, Nikonov says. The software combines depth information from two Kinect sensors simultaneously for amazing coverage and accuracy. The 360-degree turns provide a true workflow advantage.

Thus far the upgrade has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from beta testers in the animation community. Artists Greenlaw and Alisa Loren Klein of Little Green Dog used the new dual-Kinect setup for their short film Happy Box.
“I got a Transgenderbot!” – Little Green Dog’s ‘Happy Box’, created with a dual-Kinect set-up.

“Incredibly, we were able to record the motions of three characters for 17 shots in just a couple of hours, and that included setup time and rehearsals,” noted Greenlaw. “The results are far superior to the data we were getting using a single Kinect sensor.”

Pricing and Availability
Support for two Kinect sensors is included in both the Basic and Standard editions of iPi Desktop Motion Capture software and comes at no additional cost. Users who purchased Basic or Standard editions of the software can download a free update from iPi Soft’s website. For the remainder of December, iPi Soft is offering a 30% pricing discount on its full line of scalable markerless motion capture products.

Visit the iPi Soft website