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Head-mounted Projection Display to Support and Improve Motion Capture Acting
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. (Ubiquitous Computing Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7722-5310
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Current and future animations seek for realistic motions to create an illusion of authentic and believable animations. A technology widely used to support this process is motion capture. Therefore, motion capture actors are used to enrich the movements of digital avatars with suitable and believable motions and emotions.

Acting for motion capture, as it is performed today, is a challenging work environment for actors and directors. Short preparation times, minimalistic scenery, limited information about characters and the performance as well as memorizing movements and spatial positions requires actors who are trained and able to highly rely on their acting and imagination skills. In many cases these circumstances can lead to performances with unnatural motions such as stiff looking and emotionless movements, as well as less believable characters. To compensate this, time-consuming repetitions of performances or post-processing of motion capture recordings is needed.

To improve this, we explore the possibilities of acting support and immersion through an interactive system supporting motion capture actors during their performances. In this process, we use an approach that combines research methods from interaction design and computer science. For our research, we firstly identify the challenges actors are facing in motion capture, as well as suggest possible concepts to support the actors. Thereafter, we explore initial prototypes built to support actors during their performance in a motion capture studio. The resulting insights from these initial prototypes led to the design exploration and development of a mixed reality head-mounted projection display that allows showing virtual scenery to the actors and provides real-time acting support. Thereafter, we describe our developed mixed reality application and our findings on how hardware and software prototypes can be designed as acting support, usable in a motion capture environment. A working prototype allowing to evaluate actors' experiences and performances was built as a proof-of-concept.

Additionally, we explored the possibility to use our developed mixed reality prototype in other fields and investigated its applicability for computer games and as an industrial simulator application.

Finally, we conducted user studies with traditionally trained theatre and TV actors, experienced motion capture actors and experts, evaluating the experiences with our prototype. The results of these user studies indicate that our application makes it easier for motion capture actors to get into demanded moods and to understand the acting scenario. Furthermore, we show a prototype that complies with the requirements of a motion capture environment, that has the potential to improve motion capture acting results and supports actors with their performances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2016.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 203
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Other Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31725ISBN: 978-91-7485-275-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31725DiVA: diva2:933494
Public defence
2016-08-30, Lambda, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2016-08-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An Immersive Motion Capture Environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Immersive Motion Capture Environment
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Motion capturing technology has been used for quite a while and several research has been done within this area. Nevertheless, we discovered open issues within current motion capturing environments. In this paper we provide a state-of-the-art overview of the addressed research areas and show issues with current motion capturing environments. Observations, interviews and questionnaires have been used to reveal the challenges actors are currently facing in a motion capturing environment. Furthermore, the idea to create a more immersive motion capturing environment to improve the acting performances and motion capturing outcomes as a potential solution is introduced. It is hereby the goal to explain the found open issues and the developed ideas which shall serve for further research as a basis. Moreover, a methodology to address the interaction and systems design issues is proposed. A future outcome could be that motion capture actors are able to perform more naturally, especially if using a non-body-worn solution.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-17385 (URN)
Conference
ICCGMAT 2013 : International Conference on Computer Games, Multimedia and Allied Technology, January 14-15, 2013, Zurich, Switzerland
Available from: 2012-12-20 Created: 2012-12-20 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved
2. Head-mounted mixed reality projection display for games production and entertainment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Head-mounted mixed reality projection display for games production and entertainment
2015 (English)In: Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, ISSN 1617-4909, E-ISSN 1617-4917, Vol. 19, no 3-4, 509-521 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This research presents a mixed reality (MR) application that is designed to be usable during a motion capture shoot and supports actors with their task to perform. Through our application, we allow seeing and exploring a digital environment without occluding an actor's field of vision. A prototype was built by combining a retroreflective screen covering surrounding walls and a headband consisting of a laser scanning projector with a smartphone. Built-in sensors of a smartphone provide navigation capabilities in the digital world. The presented system was demonstrated in an initially published paper. Here, we extend these research results with our advances and discuss the potential use of our prototype in gaming and entertainment applications. To explore this potential use case, we built a gaming application using our MR prototype and tested it with 45 participants. In these tests, we use head movements as rather unconventional game controls. According to the performed user tests and their feedback, our prototype shows a potential to be used for gaming applications as well. Therefore, our MR prototype could become of special interest because the prototype is lightweight, allows for freedom of movement and is a low-cost, stand-alone mobile system. Moreover, the prototype also allows for 3D vision by mounting additional hardware.

Keyword
Head-mounted projection display, Mixed reality, Motion capture, Laser projector, Immersive environments, Games production
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28741 (URN)10.1007/s00779-015-0847-y (DOI)000357471100003 ()2-s2.0-84943349415 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-21 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Head-worn Mixed Reality Projection Display Application
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Head-worn Mixed Reality Projection Display Application
2014 (English)In: ACM International Conference Proceedings Series (ICPS), 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The main goal of this research is to develop a mixed real- ity (MR) application to support motion capture actors. This application allows seeing and exploring a digital environment without occluding the actor’s visual field. A prototype is built by combining a retro-reflective screen covering surrounding walls and a headband consisting of a laser scanning projector with a smartphone. Built-in sensors of a smartphone provide navigation capabilities in the digital world. The integrated system has some unique advantages, which are collectively demonstrated for the first time: (i) providing fixed field-of- view (50o in diagonal), fixed retinal images at full-resolution, and distortion-free images that are independent of the screen distance and shape; (ii) presenting different perspectives to the users as they move around or tilt their heads, (iii) allow- ing a focus-free and calibration-free display even on non-flat surfaces using laser scanning technology, (iv) enabling mul- tiple users to share the same screen without crosstalk due to the use of retro-reflectors, and (v) producing high brightness pictures with a projector of only 15 lm; due to a high-gain retro-reflective screen. We demonstrated a lightweight, com- fortable to wear and low cost head-mounted projection dis- play (HMPD) which acts as a stand-a-lone mobile system. Initial informal functionality tests have been successfully per- formed. The prototype can also be used as a 3D stereo system using the same hardware by additionally mounting polarized glasses and an active polarization rotator, while maintaining all of the advantages listed above. 

Keyword
head-mounted projection display; mixed reality; motion capture; laser projector; immersive environments
National Category
Other Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25886 (URN)10.1145/2663806.2663826 (DOI)2-s2.0-84938328251 (Scopus ID)
Conference
11th Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology Conference, ACE 2014; Funchal, Madeira; Portugal; 11 November 2014 through 14 November 2014; Code 113147
Available from: 2014-09-08 Created: 2014-09-08 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved
4. Towards Stanislavski-based Principles for Motion Capture Acting in Animation and Computer Games
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Stanislavski-based Principles for Motion Capture Acting in Animation and Computer Games
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Current and future animations crave for realistic motions to create a perception of motions that are close to a realistic human-like performance. To create such human-like animations, motion capture actors enrich the movements of digital avatars with realistic and believable motions and emotions. Acting for motion capture, as it is performed today, implies certain challenges. In this paper we address these challenges and argue how to support motion capture actors especially when acting for computer games. We discuss the nature of motion capture acting in the view of Stanislavski’s acting principles and point out the actors’ skills and demands. We conclude that the developed principles should be: ’Imagination’, ’Objectives’, ’Information & Visual References’, ’Magic if’, ’Adaptation’ and ’Relaxation’ to support motion capture actors with their work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Porto, Portugal: IPCA, 2013
Keyword
Motion Capture, Acting, Animation, Computer Games
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-23564 (URN)978-989-97567-6-2 (ISBN)
Conference
International Conference in Illustration and Animation CONFIA 2013, 29-30 November 2013, Porto, Portugal
Projects
ITS-EASY Post Graduate School for Embedded Software and Systems
Available from: 2013-12-16 Created: 2013-12-16 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved
5. Supporting Acting Performances Through Mixed Reality and Virtual Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting Acting Performances Through Mixed Reality and Virtual Environments
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of SETECEC 2016, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Motion capture actors need to deal with short preparation times and highly rely on their acting and imagination skills. To support these actors, we developed a mixed reality application that allows showing digital acting environments while performing and tested our prototype with 6 traditionally trained theatre and TV actors. As a result, these 6 actors indicated that our application supported them getting into the demanded acting moods with less unrequired emotions. The acting scenario was also better understood with less need of explanation than when just discussing the scenario, as commonly done in theatre acting.

National Category
Other Computer and Information Science Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31722 (URN)10.978.8896471/401 (DOI)
Conference
Fifth International Conference on Software and Emerging Technologies for Education, Culture, Entertainment, and Commerce (SETECEC 2016): New Directions in Multimedia Mobile Computing, Social Networks, Human-Computer Interaction and Communicability :: Venice, Italy :: March 29 – 31, 2016
Available from: 2016-06-06 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2016-12-28Bibliographically approved
6. Evaluation of a Mixed Reality Projection Display to Support Motion Capture Acting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of a Mixed Reality Projection Display to Support Motion Capture Acting
2016 (English)In: 13th EAI International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We present an evaluation of our mixed reality prototype for motion capture acting, tested with experienced motion capture actors. Motion capture acting requires trained and experienced actors who can highly rely on their acting and imagination skills. This is especially the case when preparation times are short and scenery needs to be imagined. To support actors in such cases, we developed a mixed reality application that allows showing digital scenery and triggering emotions while performing. In this paper we tested our prototype with experienced motion capture actors performing short acting scenes. We also evaluated the prototype’s usefulness for motion capture with four actors and four motion capture experts. The actors and experts considered our application helpful, especially as a rehearsal tool to prepare performances before motion capture shoots. They indicated that our application could reduce the time to prepare performances support the preparation of physical acting scenarios.

National Category
Human Computer Interaction Other Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31724 (URN)
Conference
MobiQuitous’16, 28th Nov – 1st Dez 2016, Hiroshima, Japan
Available from: 2016-06-06 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2017-11-01Bibliographically approved
7. Low-cost mixed reality simulator for industrial vehicle environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Low-cost mixed reality simulator for industrial vehicle environments
Show others...
2016 (English)In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), Volume 9740, 2016, 597-608 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

High-end industrial vehicle simulators are generally expensive and aim at providing a high level of realism. The access to such simulators is often a limited resource to researchers and developers who find themselves using a PC-based simulator instead. We challenge this approach by introducing a low-cost mixed reality simulator for industrial vehicles that allows to test new vehicle control concepts and design ideas in a rapid prototyping manner. Our simulator prototype consists of a head-mounted projection display, a CAVE-like room covered with a retro-reflective cloth and a rotatable chair with controls to steer an industrial vehicle. The created digital environment represents an obstacle course for an excavator and can be controlled by a joystick, a keyboard and can be explored by natural head movements. Performed user tests with 21 participants showed that the mixed reality simulator is perceived as more realistic, natural to use and provides a more immersive experience than a PC-based simulator with the same environment and controls.

Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 9740
National Category
Human Computer Interaction Other Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31723 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-39907-2_57 (DOI)2-s2.0-84978890790 (Scopus ID)9783319399065 (ISBN)
Conference
8th International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, VAMR 2016 and Held as Part of 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCI International 2016; Toronto; Canada; 17 July 2016 through 22 July 2016
Available from: 2016-06-06 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2017-02-17Bibliographically approved

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Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf