Imagine waking up tomorrow and having to navigate your day with no use of your hands. How limited would you feel not being able to get dressed, pick up your lunch, greet co-workers, or play sport?
It’s no wonder then that films and games, designed to bring realism to make-believe fantasy scenes, are working towards artfully capturing an actor’s body language, of which hand gestures are key.
The movie industry smashed a record $40 billion in global revenue in 2018, and at $100 billion, the gaming industry is even bigger than movies and music combined. Backed with mega-budgets, studios are stepping up to the challenge of awing audiences with bigger blockbuster hits year after year. Audiences are regularly seeing advanced CGI, adrenaline-inducing stunts, and sophisticated animation and have growing expectations of escapism from directors and game studios.
Delivering more immersive experiences hinges on the ability of studios to capture the subtleties of hand motion for richer content creation. Bringing computer-generated characters to life is an arduous task; a film crew will use cameras and body markers to capture an actor’s performance on a mocap stage and then apply them to digital characters in post-processing. What audiences might not appreciate though, is how limitations in camera technology are forcing animators to painstakingly hand-draw missing frames — all to deliver a few moments of perfection on the big screen.
The holy grail for studios is the ability to live stream hand, facial and full body motion data — from a large group of actors — with low latency. Because an actor’s mannerisms in their voice and movement all run together to form a character, it is highly advantageous to capture the full performance in one shot – this saves post-production time and costs and captures the authentic performance from the actors.