Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Stream Kinect mocap data into Blender with NI mate

Programming duo Delicode – also known as Julius Tuomisto and Janne Karhu – has released NI mate, a free application for converting real-time motion capture recorded with a Kinect into MIDI or Open Sound Control data.

The converted data can then be streamed into a 3D application via an import plugin: as yet, only the Blender plugin has been released, but Delicode plans to release one for a second (unnamed) app in a few months.

Delicode’s demo short, The Kinected Bunny (above) shows Big Buck Bunny from the Blender Foundation’s open movie of the same name being controlled in real time via NI mate and the Blender game engine.

The results are mixed: Big Buck tends to glide as he walks, and his jaw moves directly up and down – although it’s hard to say whether that’s the result of the software, the rig, or a combination of both. A section at the end of the video, which uses both Kinect motion capture data and keyframe animation, looks much more refined.

However, this is a tool that’s still in open beta. Delicode is soliciting feedback, so why not try it for yourself?

NI mate is available for Windows 7 64-bit and OS X 10.6+, with 32-bit Windows 7 and Linux to come.

Read more about NI mate on the project’s blog

Download NI mate

Download the NI mate Blender plugin

Hat tip to BlenderNation for spotting this one.