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SIGGRAPH Conference

Published: Tue 23 Sep 2014
SIGGRAPH Conference

School of Media, Design & Technology showcases ground-breaking Quadruped Motion Capture research.

The University recently attended a world leading conference on computer graphics to deliver workshops showcasing our progress in Quadruped Motion Capture.

Motion Capture, made famous through films such as Avatar, involves tracking markers placed on people or animals to capture their movements. In cases where high realism is required, this kind of data driven animation is the gold-standard for in-game animations, realistic digital doubles in films, and for driving medical simulations.

Mr Karl Abson, Dr Ian Palmer and Prof Hassan Ugail currently work with animals to develop safer, more humane ways of capturing animal movement. This is especially important since working with animals on a film set is not always possible and animating by hand can be too time consuming and expensive when detail is required.

The SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience, including a three-day commercial exhibition, that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world. The conference regularly includes attendance from companies such as Pixar and Dreamworks.

SIGGRAPH is widely recognized as the most prestigious forum for the publication of computer graphics research. In addition to SIGGRAPH's leading-edge technical program, the conference's installations provide close-up views of the latest in digital art, emerging technologies, and hands-on opportunities for creative collaboration.

The University holds an up-to-date 16 camera motion capture studio and regularly works with Vicon, the system builders, and motion capture studios around the world. Students use this facility both in and out of taught modules and actively receive hands on experience with the equipment to capture movement for games, animated and visual effects work. The schools research actively informs teaching to ensure that students learn the most up to date skills applicable to the real world, which they will move into. Students also see real world examples to help give context, build on problem solving and to encourage creative thinking.

This research directly feeds into our philosophy for research led teaching. While learning tools in the classroom is a good starting point, students must be able to apply them in new and exciting ways. Innovative research projects such as this give the students the opportunity learn these skills and answer open questions, such as: How do you attach motion capture markers to a horse? We believe that giving the students the opportunity to answer such questions is useful for later employment, as well as developing practical experience from carrying out day to day tasks such as setting up equipment. The result is a student with practical skills but who can actively think creatively to solve problems.

See for yourself:

Video of workshop:
Siggraph website:

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