Thursday, June 14th, 2018:
Today, I began with Troy again, this time, to set up for a shoot. I was extremely eager to get my hands on helping in some way, so it was good to have a demo to start off with before a live production shoot.
Some art students from Japan came into the space today for a demonstration/explanation of how motion capture works. I helped set up the stage area, calibration, getting 2 student volunteers in the suits, and getting their ROM.
We didn't do any captures, but rather just let them play around with props like a hulla-hoop (a shield) and a stick (a sword), and let them see themselves in real-time as characters we put them on in MotionBuilder. We also allowed them to try out Faceware with the headset to see how that system works as well.
It was interesting to hear all of the questions that they had about the technology - to see how it is used in production, if fingers are doable, what age we can do mocap on (youngest done here is 2 years old), if in school they should even continue doing key frame animation if this is the quicker way to do it. It's nice to know that these are questions that I had when I was in school, but know that motion capture is just a tool to quicken the speed in almost a previs form of animation before cleaning up the blocking, and then polishing.
Below are some photos of this demo happening.
After that demonstration, we started cleaning up the area, so that we could set up for the shoot that is happening tomorrow. We have a big game client coming in, who H.O.M. has been doing captures for these past couple of months, so from here we prepped that for tomorrow. We know that there are props to use (swords/guns) and environmental props (tape positioning, accurate stair placement, apple boxes, etc.) They send us the environmental scene that they have, and then we match the right proportions with the props that we have ourselves.
From here, with those swords/guns props, we set that scene up ahead of time in MotionBuilder so that they are ready to go with the modeled objects for real time. We did the same with the environment.
Troy also showed me how they have set up their own system, called Ground Control, which basically fastens the pace of Blade. What it does is take the spreadsheet of the shot list, and load it into its version of the 'data management' window, and then they can click on the shot they want to be 'armed' and start the capture. When they start the capture though, it doesn't just begin Blade, but also all of the cameras that are capturing video reference. And you can also edit these descriptions with quickly defining 'best' versions and 'no good' versions as soon as the director states that 'this take is the one.'
Moving on from there, we did your basic organization and cleaning of the suits so that those were also ready for the stage tomorrow. Below I have posted some photos of the costume prep area, suits, patches, and markers.
I look forward to starting tomorrow as the QA Assistant (Quality Assurance) to both the QA Lead and Capture Operator. This will actually show me how an entire shoot is run with a client, what steps are done to improve the call sheet of all the actions needed, how the actors and directors interact, and many more things that I don't even know yet!
DAILY HOURS: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (9 hours)
CONSECUTIVE HOURS: (36 hours)