SoftEther Corporation is developing a 3DCG Motion Capture system, code named “Kuma” (the word for bear in Japanese) that will enable computer graphic modelers and animators to quickly and easily create 3D characters based on real world motions.
Although any character could theoretically be modeled, the prototype system uses a teddy bear equipped with joint sensors connected to a PC. Natural motions are created by manually adjusting the figure’s posture and capturing start and end poses. The system then automatically generates the motions between the poses, which can then be adjusted and fine tuned.
The company demonstrated a simplified configuration that implemented 12 degrees of freedom (model joints), and has a product road map that includes up to 48 degrees of freedom.
The Kuma system is expected to support popular 3D modeling software systems including LightWave 3D, Maya, and others that include compatable plug-in architectures. Although the company has not officially announced a specific sales date or price, the system is expected to sell in the 1?2 million yen range (USD$ 10?20,000), making it very attractive to small to mid-range game development companies as well as research labs and universities.