Press

Unreal Pick and Mix event.

StretchSense joins Epic Games, DNEG and other industry heavyweights at Unreal Pick and Mix

StretchSense is excited to announce it will be joining Epic Games, DNEG and other industry heavyweights at Unreal Pick and Mix, an online suite of workshops for freelancers and media professionals taking place 15-26 March GMT.

Hosted by Escape Studios, ScreenSkills, and Epic Games this week in the United Kingdom, Unreal Pick and Mix was developed as a way of preparing the film and television industry for eventual growth after the time of lockdown.

“As a result of the ongoing pandemic, hundreds of talented production professionals are unable to work, so our objective is to prepare the industry for eventual growth when restrictions are lifted and promote new ways of working safely,” says Escape Studios deputy dean Saint Walker.

“We want to ensure that skills in Unreal Engine and real-time production are spread across the UK, to help fuel the UK’s media industries and the individuals who work in it.

We’re extremely grateful to ScreenSkills for supporting this program, which will benefit industry professionals around the UK, particularly in regions where there are fewer opportunities for this kind of training.”

StretchSense at “Meet the Experts”

CJ Markham, StretchSense Motion Capture Solutions Architect.
CJ Markham, StretchSense Motion Capture Solutions Architect.

The final day of the event is dedicated to “Meet the Experts” sessions and will feature a demonstration from StretchSense Motion Capture Solutions Architect CJ Markham.

CJ will demonstrate the StretchSense hand and finger mocap solution, and how pose detection can be used to create highly accurate real-time special FX for your project and for better-developed pre-visualization.

Join CJ to learn how animators can achieve high-quality hand motion capture that requires only minimal cleanup, meaning you spend less time on “janitorial” keyframing and more on the fun stuff.

Industry-level experience with Unreal Engine

The fortnight curriculum gives learners unfamiliar with the Unreal Engine the fundamentals and an experience of teamwork that will allow them to progress independently and hit the ground running.

Learners can take a range of options from two-day basics, to the whole two weeks depending on their needs.

Themes go from real-time fundamentals and scene building, Environments, Lighting, through to FX and integration with Unreal and Houdini before a final week of adding detail and drama.

Unreal Pick and Mix is presented by Escape Studios, ScreenSkills and Epic Games

  • Escape Studios, the UK’s only Unreal Engine Authorized Training Center, is now looking to assist smaller companies, sole traders and freelancers with Unreal Engine skills across the globe.
  • ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen industries and this programme at Escape Studios is supported by their Film and High-end TV Skills Funds with contributions from UK productions
  • Escape Studios worked with Epic Games on designing a flexible online curriculum. A range of renowned guest practitioners are arranged to teach and inspire learners who it is hoped will come from production and post-production sectors as well as animation, VFX and graphics.

Event details

Visit the official page to find out more: The Unreal Pick and Mix

MoCap Pro gloves used for Virtual Reality

StretchSense Shows Off Motion Capture Glove And Launches Hand Engine Software At Minister Visit

StretchSense Shows Off Motion Capture Glove & Launches Hand Engine Software at Minister Visit

StretchSense CEO Ben O'Brien shows off the MoCap Pro gloves.

StretchSense opened its factory doors to external visitors for the first time in the company’s eight-year history on 22 October 2020 as it celebrated major milestones in its start-up journey, set out its vision for the future, and seeks to attract top talent.

Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth and industry leaders toured the factory and experienced MoCap Pro Gloves first-hand.

The R&D-led business received a several million-dollar Series A investment from Global from Day One (GD1) Fund II in 2019. This enabled the company’s expansion.

GD1 Managing Partner, Chintaka Ranatunga says StretchSense has honed the strength of its intellectual property and technological advantage and received global market recognition for technology leadership.

“We invested in StretchSense because we believed in the team, the IP and the market potential. We know that with the right capital and market presence, StretchSense could become a major technology exporter long term and create thousands of high value jobs.

“We’re delighted with the progress so far and look forward to supporting Ben and team in the future.”

Speaking at the event, StretchSense CEO and Co-Founder, Ben O’Brien said that they were well positioned to capture the market.

“We know that there is a significant need in the film, gaming and animation industries for motion capture gloves that accurately capture hands and fingers. With the help of GD1, we have developed a product to meet this need and we’re delighted with the feedback we’re already getting from the international community.

“Our vision is to build the future of human-machine interaction and we want great people to join us right now to make that happen. We believe that VR/AR will eventually replace your smartphone. When that happens, we anticipate a heightened need to interact in virtual environments and hands will be essential for this.”

StretchSense is held in high regard by the AR/VR/XR industry in New Zealand. Professor Mark Billinghurst, AR/VR expert and author of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) funded New Zealand AR/VR/XR Market Report says that StretchSense is well positioned to be very successful.

“We completed a survey of the whole New Zealand industry and StretchSense was outstanding amongst the 83 Kiwi companies we identified. They are the largest employer of people working in the sector, and one of the few companies working in hardware.

“Their technology is used in the two sectors that our international experts identified as having the highest growth potential, Training and Gaming. Our sector reporting has found that by 2023, the NZ AR/VR/XR industry is projected to more than double in number of employees, and more than triple in revenue. StretchSense is well positioned to be a leader in this space.”

MoCap Pro gloves used for Virtual Reality
StretchSense gloves used for virtual ball game using MoCap Pro gloves, VIVE and Unity.

StretchSense key milestones to date:

  • Business recovery and expansion – the company has experienced rapid growth and is looking for up to 15 new hires in software development, product, process engineering and sales adding to its 30-strong team. The company is also hiring internationally in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, London and Berlin as it grows its presence in key markets
  • Significant R&D into version two of its world-renowned MoCap Pro glove, which launched in July and is used by many top animation, gaming and film studios in the US, Europe, China and Japan
  • The development and launch of Hand Engine – purpose-built software that provides an interface between StretchSense MoCap Pro gloves and the preferred software of gaming, animation and movie studios. The launch has allowed a world-first in motion capture, with the use of animator-generated pose libraries that put art direction into the driver’s seat of content creation
  • The installation of a factory ‘Clean Room’ – a dust and fibre-free space – which represents just part of a significant production investment in the company’s Penrose factory to scale quality production
  • The acquisition of Seattle-based animation studio MoCapNow, that has expanded StretchSense’s U.S. market presence and provided expert in-country technical support from a BAFTA and Academy Award winning team, cementing the position of the MoCap Pro glove as the leading finger tracking device in North America.

StretchSense Acquires US Company MocapNow

Peanut Butter Meets Chocolate: Motion Capture Industry’s Perfect Match

StretchSense expands, acquiring renowned animation studio MocapNow to bring Hollywood the cutting edge hand motion capture it has been desperately seeking.

StretchSense, creators of the world’s first stretch sensor motion capture glove, today announced the acquisition of Seattle animation heavyweight MocapNow via a share swap, completing several months of negotiation.

MoCap Pro Glove

The acquisition cements the position of the company’s product, the MoCap Pro Glove, as the leading finger tracking device in North America.

The MoCap Pro Glove is used by studios developing AAA rated games, feature films and new VR experiences to capture detailed finger movements that convey the fine nuance of an actor’s performance. While various hand mocap solutions have been around for a long time, there has not been a satisfactory solution to the problem of capturing a high level of accuracy without threatening the pipeline or increasing the complexity of a busy shoot.

A massive spike in demand for in-home entertainment is placing pressure on studios to create more and better content. There is a strong need for expert motion capture support packaged with a production-ready hand capture product for studios navigating the post-COVID-19 world.

Just as the combination of peanut butter and chocolate puts all other food pairings to shame, MocapNow’s hands-on game and film animation expertise combined with the MoCap Pro Glove’s unique, cutting-edge technology is a match made in heaven.

MocapNow Relationship Manager Ander Bergstrom says “The challenge of digital performance is capturing and expressing the gesture and essence of the performer. StretchSense has met that challenge head on with its incredibly expressive and sensitive glove solution and I am proud to be part of this amazing team.”

With a portfolio that includes some of the best and most important video games of the past decade along with several BAFTAs and Academy Awards, MocapNow’s Ander Bergstrom and CJ Markham have worked with every hand motion capture solution available and both are excited to be teaming up with the best in the market.

CJ Markham and Ander Bergstrom

Solutions Architect CJ Markham says “The hand capture solution I’ve dreamt about for years is finally here. I’m excited to join the team that is bringing it to the world.”

With the acquisition complete, the focus for StretchSense now is to expand its reach in North America, and provide its customers with close technical support with the help from its newly established team in Seattle.

Ben O'Brien CEO of StretchSense

StretchSense CEO Ben O’Brien says “I am super excited to have the MocapNow team on board. CJ and Ander are legends in the industry and as well as being great to work with, their decades of experience will directly improve our products and help our customers to create some truly amazing content.”

About StretchSense

StretchSense is a Sensor Holdings brand specializing in stretchable sensors and the MoCap Pro Glove, a motion capture glove. StretchSense was spun out of the University of Auckland’s world-leading Biomimetics Lab in 2012 and is the product of significant investment in cutting edge research and development.

StretchSense.com

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Sheridan Dickson
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Download Press Release – StretchSense Acquires US Company (PDF 74KB)

 
StretchSense head office Auckland New Zealand.

Sensor Holdings Limited Purchases StretchSense

Sensor Holdings Limited purchases StretchSense

StretchSense head office Auckland New Zealand.

Sensor Holdings Limited is pleased to announce that on Tuesday the 8th of October it completed the purchase of the business and assets of StretchSense.

On 15 July 2019 StretchSense Limited was placed into Voluntary Administration with Tony Maginness and Kevin Pitfield of Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Auckland Limited appointed as joint and several administrators. The administrators ran a competitive sale process which was won by Sensor Holdings Limited, for an undisclosed sum.

Sensor Holdings Limited will continue to trade under the StretchSense brand with the mission of making the world’s best stretchy deformation sensors and motion capture gloves. The core team has been re-employed and are thrilled to be part of the new entity, keeping the IP, know-how, R&D, and production capability in New Zealand.

The deal was led by New Zealand based venture capital fund Global from Day One (GD1) Fund II. GD1 is investing in the business to accelerate global expansion as well as R&D and manufacturing. GD1 Senior Investment Manager John Kells said: “We are excited to back the founders and team of StretchSense because they are the global leader in sensor technology based on world-class R&D. GD1 is looking forward to supporting them build a great New Zealand technology company.”

CEO of Sensor Holdings Limited, Ben O’Brien said: “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to hit reset that this presents. It’s been a bumpy ride but with GD1’s support we are well-positioned to continue making an incredible product and get out there and win in the entertainment and VR/AR industries.”

For media enquiries please contact Shin Jeong Park, Head of Sales and Marketing
shin.park@stretchsense.com

About:
StretchSense was originally a spin-out from the Biomimetics lab of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Today StretchSense is a Sensor Holdings Limited business that makes soft, stretchy, and highly accurate sensors and motion capture gloves. The company’s products have broad application in the sports and fitness, VR/AR, motion capture, entertainment, and wearables industries.