Video games often use motion capture to animate athletes, martial artists, and other in-game characters. This has been done since the Atari Jaguar CD-based game Highlander: The Last of the MacLeods, released in 1995.
Movies use motion capture for CG effects, in some cases replacing traditional cel animation, and for completely computer-generated creatures, such as Gollum, The Mummy, King Kong, Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean, the Na'vi from the film Avatar, and Clu from Tron: Legacy.
Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists was the first movie made primarily with motion capture, although many character animators also worked on the film, which had a very limited release. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was the first widely released movie made primarily with motion capture.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" was the first feature film to utilize a real-time motion capture system. This method streamed the actions of actor Andy Serkis into the computer generated skin of Gollum / Smeagol as it was being performed.
Out of the three nominees for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, two of the nominees (Monster House and the winner Happy Feet) used motion capture, and only Disney·Pixar's Cars was animated without motion capture. In the ending credits of Pixar's film Ratatouille, a stamp appears labelling the film as "100% Pure Animation – No Motion Capture!"
Motion capture has begun to be used extensively to produce films which attempt to simulate or approximate the look of live-action cinema, with nearly photorealistic digital character models. The Polar Express used motion capture to allow Tom Hanks to perform as several distinct digital characters (in which he also provided the voices). The 2007 adaptation of the saga Beowulf animated digital characters whose appearances were based in part on the actors who provided their motions and voices. James Cameron's Avatar used this technique to create the Na'vi that inhabit Pandora. The Walt Disney Company has produced Robert Zemeckis's A Christmas Carol using this technique. In 2007, Disney acquired Zemeckis' ImageMovers Digital (that produces motion capture films), but then closed it in 2011, after a string of failures.
Television series produced entirely with motion capture animation include Laflaque in Canada, Sprookjesboom and Cafe de Wereld in The Netherlands, and Headcases in the UK.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality allow users to interact with digital content in real-time. This can be useful for training simulations, visual perception tests, or performing a virtual walk-throughs in a 3D environment. Motion capture technology is frequently used in digital puppetry systems to drive computer generated characters in real-time.
Gait analysis is the major application of motion capture in clinical medicine. Techniques allow clinicians to evaluate human motion across several biometric factors, often while streaming this information live into analytical software.
During the filming of James Cameron's Avatar all of the scenes involving this process were directed in realtime using Autodesk Motion Builder software to render a screen image which allowed the director and the actor to see what they would look like in the movie, making it easier to direct the movie as it would be seen by the viewer. This method allowed views and angles not possible from a pre-rendered animation. Cameron was so proud of his results that he even invited Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on set to view the system in action.
Read more about this topic: Motion Capture
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