In December 2020, Xsens released MVN 2020.2. For StretchSense customers, this was a significant development because it was the first time StretchSense MoCap Pro gloves could be captured inside either MVN Animate or MVN Analyze.
This integration provides the link between premium body and hand motion capture that studios have been asking for. You no longer need to capture hand and body data separately and combine it later in a third-party application. Instead, do it all at once inside MVN.
Crucially, because StretchSense integration is native within MVN software, all the features of our Hand Engine software are available. That includes Pose Detection (snapping to pre-defined, key artistic poses), Blend Mode (smooth animation between poses), and Hybrid Mode (the smooth transitioning between saved poses). Basically, if it’s something Hand Engine can do you can utilize it in MVN software.
To get the lowdown on how to take advantage of the StretchSense native integration in MVN, Katie Jo Turk of Xsens joined StretchSense Motion Capture Solutions Architect CJ Markham earlier this year for an interactive webinar.
Katie Jo was wearing the full-body MVN link suit with StretchSense gloves, which are equipped with velcro on the top of the hand to accommodate the suit’s hand tracker.
The beauty of native integration is that the MVN system is tailored to use our solution as the finger tracking hardware. All that is required is some simple configuration steps in Hand Engine and MVN and you can commence streaming in a matter of minutes.
This means that studios using Xsens for body motion capture can easily slot our gloves into their pipeline. To make this easy we’ve put together this tutorial on our Knowledge Base.
To demonstrate native integration, Katie Jo and CJ role-played a familiar scenario — the fight at the front door of your house with the pizza delivery guy.
Okay, we hope this isn’t a normal occurrence but it made for a great motion capture demo.
You’ve set up our gloves and Hand Engine in MVN and finished recording your take. Now what?
MVN has several export options so there’s an output file type for every project. For mocap specialists and animators, you can export to FBX and BVH files, the latter being popular with MVN users who retarget to character assets in Blender.
You can then import your file into any 3D animation software. Popular choices being Maya, Unreal Engine, Unity, MotionBuilder, Cinema 4D, Houdini, and Blender.
How does the hand motion capture stack up? The animation curve below shows the data points from the fight with the pizza guy motion capture take CJ and Katie Jo produced for the webinar.
The top curve, which shows the motion data for the right hand, flattens when Katie Jo made a fist pose. Pose detection was used here to ensure stable data and no noise. Typically, achieving a solid pose like this would require cleanup in post-production. Art direction can instead be done in pre-production, an ethos that has been affectionately labeled as “fix it in pre”.
If you’re interested in learning more about integrating the StretchSense hand motion capture solution into your Xsens pipeline, you can contact us or request a trial.
More info can be found on our Xsens MVN integration page.