Monday, June 12th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

iPi Soft releases iPi Mocap Studio 3.6

iPi Soft’s most recent promo video for iPi Motion Capture, its markerless motion-capture system. The latest updates to the iPi Mocap Studio software improve permit real-time tracking with Microsoft’s Kinect sensors.

iPi Soft has released iPi Mocap Studio 3.6, the latest update to its markerless motion-capture software, adding a new, faster calibration algorithm and extending the software’s support for the FBX file format.

Other recent updates improve performance when using a Microsoft Kinect sensor, permitting real-time tracking; and improve the process of exporting animation data to common game engines like UE4 and Unity.

A two-part markerless mocap system for indie studios
iPi Motion Capture systems provide indie studios with a full-body mocap set-up based around the Kinect and Sony’s PS3 Eye cameras. Data processing is done offline, with data exportable in FBX and BVH formats.

Each system consists of iPi Recorder, a free software package for capturing and playing back footage; and iPi Mocap Studio itself, the commercial software used to process the recordings into animation data.

New in iPi Mocap Studio 3.6: improved marker calibration and FBX export
The 3.6 release itself, which came out late last month, introduces a new calibration algorithm offering “vastly greater speed [and] slightly better accuracy” when using a light source to calibrate the system.

According to iPi Soft, calibration of a PS3 Eye set-up now takes “less than three minutes, dependent on the number of cameras used, when using a high-end video card”.

The update also adds the option to include cameras in animations exported from the software in FBX format.

New in version 3.5: real-time tracking using the Kinect
Since we last wrote about the iPi Motion Capture product line, iPi Soft has also introduced a new tracking algorithm for Kinect sensors that it says improves performance by up to 2.5x.

The firm claims that, when using a high-end GPU, tracking speeds of 60-70 fps are possible, and that it plans to use the performance boost to implement a real-time preview of the data in future releases.

The feature is still officially in beta, and works only on a single GPU. Unlike the real-time tracking available in rival tools like Brekel Pro Body, is currently only supported on single-actor projects.

Other recent changes: improved animation export to game engines
When exporting animation data to characters with separate root and hips/pelvis bones in their skeleton, such as standard Unreal Engine or Unity game characters, users can now choose which bone to map the data to.

Users can also rotate the animation on export to match the engine’s default orientation.

In addition, the export profiles for SMD and DMX files for Valve’s Source Engine now support finger bones.

Other recent changes include the option so select the colour of the light source used during calibration, for use with footage shot against pale backgrounds; and support for the FBX 7.5 format.

Pricing and availability
iPi Mocap Studio 3.6 is available for Windows only on a rental-only basis.

The Express edition costs $95/year, and supports a single Kinect or Kinect 2 sensor; the Basic edition costs $345/year, and supports up to two Kinect sensors or six PS3 Eyes.

The Pro edition costs $1,195/year and supports up to four Kinects or 16 PS3 Eyes, and also adds support for multi-actor projects and for multi-GPU processing.

Further add-ons provide automation and biomechanical analysis tools.

Read more about the new features in iPi Macap Studio 3.5 and 3.6 in the online changelog

Visit the main iPi Motion Capture product website