July 2011 Paul McCollum
As any professional 3D modeler can tell you, getting your animation to act and move (or even just stand) like a real human being is A) time consuming B) tedious and C) boring as all get out. Usually, this is why the large companies hire actors to act out scenes in specialized studios and do real MoCap so that the end result actually looks realistic. This is all well and fine if you have lot of time and resources but for the modelers on a budget, it’s a fantasy. This is why the all new QUMA, a USB powered 3D motion-capture figure, is promising.
By making a humid like doll that not only connects to a computer but has articulate joints and range of motion similar to a human, you can easily translate movements in 3D animation. Want your character to go to one knee and raise a rifle to his shoulder? Model it on the QUMA with your hands and record it in the software program. On paper, it sounds simple and intuitive. While this won’t revolutionize motion capture and animation industry, it may just allow indie and smallsized companies a chance to get results almost as good for a mere fraction of the cost.