Free MOCAP databases – Stage 1

I’ve recently started experimenting with MOCAP animations, for my first test, I used a free MOCAP database from the Carnegie Mellon University.

First, I placed my 3D dino model in Blender.

Then, I downloaded a MOCAP database that was translated so it could be used with blender (see link below), I selected a “walk” animation file (see .xlsx file database reference) and imported it directly as an armature

Then, I attached it to my mesh. It is worth mentioning that this MOCAP file was created to fit a regular human body so I had to try different ways to attach it to my chubby character. Finally, after raising my model arms and also rotating the armature bones, I was able to get the hands moving without colliding with the sides of the belly.

The initial MOCAP animation only lasted for 344 frames, in order to get a longer animation, I decided to make four different renders creating one camera for each take and rendering individual image sequences.

Finally, I imported all 4 image sequences into Adobe Premiere, added a soundtrack from the Youtube Audio Library (free) and rendered a video.

I have to say that, although it was exciting to use a MOCAP database, I feel it was a bit glitchy, and my character did some strange movements at the end of the animation, I do plan to keep doing more experiments to see if it is possible to create smooth transitions between animations. I also want to test the same database in Maya to see if I get a fairly different result.

Useful links:
Carnegie Mellon University Motion Capture Database

Translated files that can be used with blender

MOCAP blender tutorial –  importing MOCAP files as an armature

Youtube Audio Library