Monday, February 26th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

IKinema releases Orion 1.0

IKinema has released Orion 1.0, its low-cost full-body motion-capture system based around the HTC Vive.

First previewed last year, and since used on a range of VR projects, Orion uses Vive hardware to capture motion data for an actor’s head, hands and body and stream it to Unreal Engine or Unity in real time.

Create a complete full-body mocap setup for under $1,500
Orion works with any OpenVR device – which, in practice, means HTC’s Vive hardware – to capture full-body motion data for an actor without the need for an expensive conventional optical mocap setup.

In its simplest configuration, it uses the Vive headset to record the motion of the actor’s head and Vive controllers to record the motion of their hands, plus three supplementary Vive Trackers for the hips and feet.

Both headset and controllers can be swapped out for another Vive Tracker, which gives more control over sensor placement; and two further optional Trackers used to record the actor’s upper arms.

At current prices, that means a total hardware cost of between $797 and $1,292, plus a further £400/year (around $560/year) for the software itself, making it possible to create a complete set-up for around $1,500.

Stream data live to UE4 or Unity, or export in FBX or BVH format
Once captured, data can be exported in FBX or BVH format, or can be streamed live into Unreal Engine or Unity via free plugins provided with the core software.

Users can retarget the data to a custom character skeleton using sister tool LiveAction, or by paying IKinema a service fee of £200 per character.

The system has already been used on a range of commercial virtual reality projects, with clients including NASA’s Johnson Space Center and game developers Ubisoft, Tencent and NCSoft.

Pricing and availability
Orion 1.0 is available for Windows. The core software comes with plugins making it possible to stream data to Unreal Engine 4.15 and above and Unity 5.5 only.

The software is available on a rental-only basis, with an MSRP of £400/year (around $560/year) for each node-locked licence. IKinema is offering a launch discount until 31 March 2018.

Read an overview of Orion 1.0 on IKinema’s website

Read a more detailed workflow breakdown in the online documentation for Orion