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MVN Animate - How did they do it?

Posted on March 23, 2018

The launch of MVN Animate is a huge success, thanks to the fact that it gives unbelievable clean data. But also thanks to the MVN Road Tour, the Choose Your Engine campaign and of course the MVN Animate video (you will find the video at the bottom of this page).

The MVN Animate video was filmed at CTT in Enschede, we specifically choose for a container terminal to show our immunity for magnetic distortion, something that is groundbreaking for inertial motion capture. In this blog, we will give some more insights into how this video was produced.

So, how did we do it?

You will find a detailed explanation of the innovations shown in the video here:

 

The video was produced by our creative partner Wil Je Koffie, they teamed up with camera operators, 3D artists and Xsens for this project. The full crew gathered on a rainy day in October. It would get better during the day, but we started out working out of a container to keep the equipment dry.

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The weather changed from rainy to dry, so it was time to get everything into place. We scouted the location prior to the shoot to make sure we had the film locations set. Of course, it was important to have as many containers around us as possible. Looks like we did a good job here:

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To make sure the motion capture data is as clean as shown in the video, one of the essential things to do, is taking really precise measurements of the performer. If you are not serious about taking these measurements, the data will still be clean and smooth, but not unbelievable. Here you can see how our performer Emma Evelein is being prepared in make-up and measured by our Xsens motion capture specialists.

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A container terminal can be a dangerous place, so safety was our main concern. CTT had appointed a safety manager to us during the full day to make sure we could film safely and at the same time, the work at CTT could proceed as normal. Our safety manager, Henk, did a great job and was a valuable addition to the team.

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It was time to do the shots! Thanks to Emma, who is a full-time professional dancer, we were able to do the one-shot of the dance within a limited amount of takes. The choreography was done by herself and once she got into the music, the dance moves came naturally. Our camera crew had to do some crazy moves to keep up with her, as you can see here:

 
The real magic was done by our 3D artists who worked on an amazing avatar to showcase our clean motion capture data.
Lead 3D Artist Edwin van het Bolscher started with some 360 hdri’s on set. This was to capture the ambient light of the environment. After the recordings, he took the footage and started 3D tracking the camera. Next step was to match the positioning in 3D space. After that he matched the geometry of the avatar to the recorded bones and the final steps in shading, lighting and rendering.
 
In our next blog we will have an extended making of with a 3D breakdown. When Edwin showed us the first preview, he litterly said: "My compliments, the data is really clean!". That's when we knew this was going to be epic!
 
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All this finally resulted in the MVN Animate video showing the unbelievable clean data:

 

Credits:

Production: Wil Je Koffie
Camera: Wil Je koffie - Peter van der Ham
Dance & Choreography:  Emma Evelein
Lead 3D Artist: Edwin van het Bolscher
3D Assistant: Tommie Mathé
Visagist: Michelle Voogd
Fotografie:  Willem van Walderveen
Location CTT