Saturday, August 4th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

IKinema unveils LiveAction virtual production system

IKinema has announced a new ‘interactive virtual production platform’ based on its real-time mocap streaming and solving technology. LiveAction will be previewed publicly at Siggraph 2012 next week.

Like IKinema’s original plugin, IKinema Action, LiveAction enables users to stream mocap data directly into Maya, without the need for MotionBuilder.

Lights, cameras and animations created in Maya can then be live-linked to LiveAction, enabling directors to see the performance applied to a 3D character within a fairly detailed virtual set, complete with real-time shadows.

The solver works for both bipeds and quadrupeds.

Open and extensible
The developer says that LiveAction is intended to be an open platform, and that studios will have “freedom to modify the core code and shaders”.

IKinema technology is in use at a number of leading VFX houses, including Framestore and Fox’s Cinedev previz unit, on projects including Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Wrath of the Titans.

LiveAction is due for release later this year, for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. There are no pricing details yet.

Innovative software developer, IKinema ( today announces the unveiling of their interactive real-time virtual production project, LiveAction at Siggraph, Los Angeles. Demonstrating motion capture animated by LiveAction and teamed with integrated RunTime qualities, Directors will soon view performance capture in near to final virtual environments during live takes. Aiming to merge the quality gap between previz and final cut sequences, the software will allow Performance Artists to interact with pre-designed high res CG environments, including animated characters and props. LiveAction is set to make the workflows between Directors, Performance and Maya Artists a streamlined, faster and more creatively instinctive process for real-time performances.

Driving LiveAction’s core engine is their superior RunTime solver. Flexibility is enabled by its real-time retargeting and marker solving capabilities, and the quality rendering engine is capable of playing high res Maya designed FBX scenes. The real-time link between Maya and LiveAction will allow direct control of the RunTime solvers, virtual cameras and live MoCap streaming as the performance takes place.

Intended as open platform, Developers will have the freedom to modify and customize the core code and shaders depending on the project’s needs. Pipelines equipped with such malleable technology, will see scope for more creative and technical objectives unavailable in traditional methods. Based on OpenGL, LiveAction will be available on Linux, Mac and Windows. Expected release, Fall 2012.

Visit IKinema online

Read our interview with Cinedev’s John Griffith (Includes a discussion of IKinema)