How Motion Capture is Taking Gaming to the Next Level
As an industry, gaming has rapidly evolved and is seemingly unrecognizable from what it was barely a decade ago. With this skyrocketing growth, gamers are shifting towards more technologically advanced niches within gaming such as VR gaming and full body motion tracking to elevate their gaming experiences. Aside from the consumer facing front, these advances are also impacting gaming from a developmental standpoint, with VR and motion capture (mocap) – a technology empowering developers to take it to the next level.
Motion Capture as a Developer Tool
Games are a unique form of media, one where its creators more or less have to begin from scratch when it comes to crafting an experience – from something as complex as the story to the simplicities of character movement. Since its first integration into gaming, motion capture has been invaluable in both these aspects.
Narratives have played a core part of gaming experiences ever since the industries’ earliest days, with storytelling evolving with every generation. With gaming taking narrative cues from film to further immerse gamers within the in-game world, it became a priority to have realistic character movement and convincing performances. Motion capture provided the perfect tool for this. It has since become an industry standard with many of the most popular narrative games being remembered for their stunning character performances and realistic movements in gameplay.
Motion capture has also proven to be just as exciting a revolution for gamers as it has been for the developers, with many recognizing the latent power of the tool to provide a fully immersive experience.
The Intersection of Motion Capture and VR Gaming
Without motion capture, VR gamers rely solely on input from headsets and hand controllers to control avatars in the virtual environment. In this case, VR uses techniques like body inverse kinematics (IK) to estimate the movements of the body parts that are not tracked, i.e., the torso and the lower limbs. Because body IK makes assumptions about joint angles and positions, it is prone to inaccuracies leading to unnatural-looking movements. This limits interactivity, sense of presence, and immersion in virtual environments.
Consumer ready mocap has ushered in an era of increased interactivity in VR gaming, allowing VR games to take full-body movements as inputs to control VR avatars. It records natural human movement from players and accurately translates it to the avatar in the virtual environment in real time. This enables in-game avatars to move and behave realistically, immersing players more in VR games.
Apart from adding a layer of unparalleled realism and immersion to VR gaming, mocap enables players to be more expressive and have more authentic gaming experiences. To generate these experiences we can implement full-body motion capture using motion tracking systems like AXIS.
Elevating VR Gaming Using Accurate Full-Body Motion Capture
Full-body motion tracking systems such as the Active XR Interface System (AXIS) enables gamers to take their VR gaming experiences to the next level. AXIS delivers motion tracking with remarkable precision (<1mm) to allow gamers to unlock new levels of immersion in VR. Each movement, gesture, strike, or any other action will be recorded and accurately translated to the VR avatar in real time.
AXIS is completely, untethered, and user-friendly with an easy setup. Players can use it freely without worrying about spending time calibrating it. These features empower AXIS users to not only control their VR avatars but also embody them. This elevates VR gaming, opening it up to new experiences including:
- Humanizing virtual characters – Using full-body tracking with AXIS, VR gamers can transform in-game avatars into extensions of themselves. Motion capture helps to bring these characters to life by capturing the nuances of natural human movement from the player and relaying it to them.
- Enhanced cinematic gameplay experiences – AXIS helps to create realistic avatar animations that contribute to the immersion and overall narrative of story-based VR games. It allows players to effectively interact with the characters and elements that drive the story forward.
- Immersive social gaming experiences – AXIS fosters a sense of shared presence in multiplayer VR games like VRChat and Neos VR. Players see their characters and others move and gesture realistically in a way that mimics real-life interactions. This enhances relationship-building in virtual environments.
- Authentic combat and action – Players can react realistically to their surroundings and opponents in games that feature combat, for instance, Blade and Sorcery. Whether it’s a hand-to-hand fight, a dynamic chase sequence, or a precise archery shot, motion capture with AXIS ensures that the actions look and feel genuine.
Just as it did with game development, motion capture has ushered in a new era of gaming by infusing it with realism and interactivity. Players can now traverse worlds where characters move, gesture, and interact like never before. As this technology continues to evolve, we can expect an exciting future where gaming becomes an even more immersive and captivating form of entertainment.