Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

iPi Soft ships iPi Motion Capture 3.0 product line

iPi Soft’s demo for its Kinect and PS3 Eye-based markerless motion-capture systems. Version 3.0 of the product line has just shipped, adding support for the Kinect 2 sensor and introducing new rental pricing.

Originally posted on 7 November 2014. Scroll down for updates.

iPi Soft has released iPi Motion Capture 3.0, the latest update to its range of markerless motion-capture systems, adding support for the Kinect 2 sensor, and introducing a new subscription-based payment model.

The tools provide independent studios with low-cost full-body mocap systems based around the Kinect and Sony’s PlayStation 3 Eye camera. Data processing is done offline, with data exportable in FBX and BVH formats.

Systems consist of iPi Recorder, a free software package for capturing and playing back footage; and iPi Mocap Studio, a commercial package for processing the recordings, available in a range of editions.

Support for Kinect 2, improved tracking speed and accuracy
Like Jasper Brekelmans’ Kinect-based mocap tools, which also shipped this month, a key feature of the update is support for the Kinect 2 sensors and their expanded field of view and tracking volume.

The update also increases tracking speed by 10-20%; improves arm and leg tracking – although that one isn’t quantified; and removes the need to align cameras manually during calibration. The UI has also been updated.

Multi-actor tracking and distributed recording in the works
So far, only the top-of-the-range Pro edition of the software can track multiple actors, although iPi Soft says that support for tracking three actors simultaneously is in the works for all of the tools.

The company is also working on distributed recording, which would enable users to record via multiple Kinect 2s – currently, if you want multi-Kinect support, it has to be the original model – and support for up to 12 cameras.

New subscription-only pricing
As seems inevitable these days, iPi Soft is switching from perpetual licences to a rental-only model, with both three-month and annual subscriptions.

The Express edition of iPi Mocap Studio, which supports a single Kinect sensor and was previously priced at $245, now costs $95 per year.

The Basic edition, which supports up to two Kinects or four PS3 Eyes and which was previously priced at $595, now costs $495 $345 per year.

And the Standard edition, which supports up to two Kinects or eight PS3 Eyes and which was previously priced at $1,195, has been renamed the Pro edition and now costs $1,195 per year.

That’s quite a change at the top end of the scale, although existing users do get discounts or a free one-year subscription; and there is currently a 30% launch discount, available until 30 November.

Both iPi Recorder 3.0 and the various editions of iPi Mocap Studio 3.0 are available now, for Windows 7 and 8.

Updated 30 December 2014: iPi Soft has updated iPi Recorder to support distributed recording, enabling users to capture synchronised video from multiple PCs.

The new feature makes it possible to overcome capture restrictions imposed by the number of USB ports available on a single PC, and to record with multiple Kinect 2 sensors – although you will need a separate PC for each one, due to the limitations of the Kinect 2 SDK.

Updated 24 February 2015: iPi Soft has updated iPi Motion Capture’s distributed recording functionality again. The Pro edition of the software now supports up to 16 PlayStation Eyes or four Kinects on multiple PCs.

The software can now also track up to three actors simultaneously, as shown in the video above.

The number of cameras supported by the Basic edition of the software has been increased from four to six, and the price of an annual Basic subscription cut from $495 to $345.

Read more about the new features in the iPi Motion Capture 3.0 product range