Centroid India Director talks about mo-cap in advertising

If there’s one technology that mystifies yet baffles filmmakers in the country, it has to be MoCap. While movies have made extensive use of other VFX streaks to enhance their visuals, MoCap is still a sleeping giant that might prove to be disruptive in the years ahead. Although motion capture has been scantily used in Indian cinema, we are beginning to hear the ripples it seems to be creating in the advertising industry. Recently Centroid Director Parth Shah spoke to AnimationXpress over a cuppa about the scope of motion-capture technology.
Parth Shah
Tell us about your recent project. One of the recent commercials we got opportunity was Aditya Birla Group’s Birla White Putty. VFX was led by Famous Studios and we were responsible for doing Motion Capture on-set. It was something different and I think first of its kind in India where Motion Capture was performed on set along with master takes and other live characters, sets, crew, etc. From many years in UK, Centroid has been providing 0n-set motion capture (For movies like 300:Rise of Empire, Mary Poppins Return, etc.). But for the first time, we provided our services for Indian TVC onset. We were responsible for capturing a talented actor dance and perform for Polar Bear character. Famous Studios’s animation division (FHOA – Famous house of Animation) were responsible for amazing VFX, led by Mr. Kavyesh Shetty and Mr. Jayant Hadke.
How many days did the process take? Production took a day, as the MoCap shoot was happening simultaneously along with the live-shoot. Post production of MoCap took half-a-day. This includes tracking, cleanup and retargeting MoCap data on IK (Inverse Kinematics) Character. Where was it shot? It was shot at Goregoan Film City. How did motion capture technology help the visuals? We used Motion capture to capture an amazing actor and at the same time, we also had real-time previs which helped the choreographer, VFX Supervisor and director achieve realistic animation. If you had to name any recent landmark mo-cap projects that you found impressive, which one would it be and why? If this is the project done by other Studios, then I would name two, one is Gemini Man and the other is  Irishman for their advancements in facial animation. Tell us about the MoCap pipeline at Centroid? Centroid provides extensive services for in-studio and on-set motion capture shoots utilising optical and inertial motion capture. We have a production stage in UK and Mumbai where our UK stage is said to be the largest motion capture volume in Europe. We also have a medium-size cleanup and tracking team in Centroid Serbia. After the MoCap production is done, clients are provided with Centroid’s proprietary software for data selection called Trimmer. Then the ‘selects’ are cleaned up and tracked by Centroid Serbia team who pass the data over to UK for the retargeting stage. Since all studios are so well-connected, we are able to produce large amounts of MoCap data in a short space of time.
MoCap technology is going from strength to strength, catalysing and easing the filmmaking process. Its interesting to note that advertising firms and VFX facilities are steadily realising the importance of motion-capture. We will post more about Famous studios advert as we discover more. Stay tuned!