Motion Capture Animation

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Motion Capture Animation is a technique used to create a 3D animation, driven by a live performance. An array of cameras is used to record certain points of light on an actor or other object. Computers then process each cameras recording (sometimes in real time), and render a wireframe outline of the actor or object.[1]

Motion Capture is sometimes used in accompaniment of a Chroma Key.[2]

Studio Recordings

In the earlier years of this technology, a good portion of motion capture has been accomplished only in a controlled soundstage type environment. In The Lord of the Rings, a studio environment was used to create realistic models, such as CGI Horses, or the character Gollum.

Live Set Recordings

Newer films such as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest have begun to use the technologies of motion capture in an on-location environment.[3]

An example of this would be the character Tumnus the Faun in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. In this film, the animators use greenscreen material pants, equipped with motion capture lights, to digitally create goat’s legs on a human.[2]

Facial Motion Capture

Motion Capture has been adapted for use at capturing facial expressions, for fully CGI characters. However, a technique called electroculography is better suited for replicating eye movements.[3]


  2. 2.0 2.1 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Extended Edition Bonus Video
  3. 3.0 3.1