OnPoint Studios case study: producing real-time improv & immersion

OnPoint Studio Case Study with StretchSense

Real time motion capture is changing the world of animation, clearing the way for new forms of 3D innovation to be explored. Our friends at OnPoint know this better than anyone and have blended real time mocap and virtual production technologies to maximize audience engagement. The result? A powerful hybrid solution which can produce real-time, fully immersive experiences.

Whether designed for release on social media, imagined for a live online performance, or produced for real-world live demonstrations, real time motion capture is special for the immediate feedback it offers. This is thanks in large part to the extensive preparation behind the scenes, opening doors to previously unexplored types of shows, both pre-recorded and live.

“I always imagined being able to put on something like an improv theater, where you have a bunch of comedians who are thrown into the suit onstage, and then crazy things happen that are influenced by the audience, and they have to respond to it live on stage.”

Kevin Clare – Lead Technical Producer

Compared to the lengthy post-production process necessary to take traditional mocap to completion, this capability to produce real-time shows seems almost magical. OnPoint makes it possible with technology, powered by OptiTrack systems, Unreal Engine, Faceware Technologies, and our very own StretchSense gloves.

The OnPoint setup is quite sophisticated, boasting more cameras than strictly necessary with 36 Prime OptiTrack 13 cameras. OptiTrack’s Motive software makes it possible to run such a setup with a relatively small crew, and they are able to capture up to five performers simultaneously. With the OptiTrack Prime series boasting some of the most precise 3D data and largest capture volumes in the world, previously used by Activision to build the largest performance capture stage in existence, it’s safe to say OnPoint’s choice of technology is world class.

OptiTrack isn’t the only technology OnPoint uses however, and their workflow is designed to take full advantage of their own creative drive. To make their live productions possible, the team feeds the three pillars of human movement directly into Unreal Engine: body movements from OptiTrack, face animation from Faceware and Apple’s ARKit, and lifelike hand data captured by StretchSense gloves.

As StretchSense gloves work great in conjunction with OptiTrack, integrating our gloves into the workflow was a straightforward boost to their level of hand data, elevating it to the next level.

“Hand Engine integration is pretty natural and just really, really amazing.”

Niklas Bothe – Head of Motion Capture

For OnPoint – as with us at StretchSense – lifelike hand movements are incredibly important. Not only does it capture an entire range of human expression, but believable hand motions allow animators to bridge the uncanny valley and edge into the realm of realism, an incredible achievement of technology. Even more, it unlocks a host of clients who arrived expecting there to be finger animation from the go, who might otherwise have passed a chance to work with OnPoint’s amazing team.

“It was a huge step forward, the fact that we had real-time fingers that are moving in front of the client, automatically just meant that we were more likely to get that job.”

Kevin Clare – Lead Technical Producer

OnPoint has been using StretchSense gloves for three years now and has seen the power of our sensors and continued growth of Hand Engine firsthand. On top of the amazing data the gloves capture, the integrations and plugins for Hand Engine are other reasons why our gloves are so great to work with, and we are absolutely stoked that OnPoint chose to incorporate them into their workflow.

Moving forward, both StretchSense gloves and Hand Engine will continue to evolve, enabling content creators to use hands in ways previously out of reach. Whether in the space of VR or mocap – or hybrid like our friends at OnPoint – we’re excited to see what creative genius our customers dream up!

From all of us at StretchSense, we’d like to give a huge hand to the team and OnPoint and cannot wait to see what else they accomplish. We’d like to encourage you to check out our friends on their own website and explore their work, such as “Cargo” – the world’s first real-time live theatrical performance.

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