Feeds

Boffins fill a dome with 480 cameras for 3D motion capture

'Panoptic studio' doesn't need no stinkin' sensors

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Video Move over Gollum: Carnegie-Mellon boffins are working on 3D motion capture that works without tracking sensors, and can pull together images from hundreds of sensors.

Their work, documented in full here, goes way beyond the motion capture tricks that let Peter Jackson give Gollum and King Kong to the world: they put their subject inside a geodisic dome, and capture their movements with 480 cameras.

With that many input images plus the ability to identify thousands of tracking points in any given image, the system is able to work with 100,000 points at a time without markers, and track those through hundreds of frames. Since a lot of that ends up as noise, a big chunk of the smarts of the system exists to decide what to include and what to exclude from the final capture.

The university says the two-story dome – the Panoptic Studio – has been used to capture activities as diverse as volleyball games, air currents and “a cascade of confetti”.

To eliminate data that doesn't need to be included, the software estimates visibility based on cues from motion. The system tries to identify patterns it can use as tracking points, and for each point, “the system then seeks to determine which cameras see motion that is consistent with that point”.

Carnegie-Mellon's Panoptic Studio

Carnegie-Mellon's Panoptic Studio

Hence if a tracking point becomes invisible to a particular camera, the input from that camera can be ignored (incidentally reducing the processing load on the system).

The MAP – maximum a posteriori – system “increases tracking performance producing longer trajectories, at more locations, and at higher accuracies than methods that ignore visibility or use photometric consistency alone”, the researchers write in their paper.

A bat swing captured by MAP

The swing of a baseball bat, reconstructed by MAP

The Register imagines at least one possible application that will have game studios keenly interested in the technology. Outside the dome, the researchers speculate that the system could be applied to motion capture on an even larger scale. For example, hundreds of camera-phones capturing live sports could become the input images to MAP, rather than the controlled environment of the Panoptic Studio. ®

Youtube Video

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.