Deakin Motion.Lab, located in the heart of Deakin University’s Burwood Campus in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, is one of Australia’s leading motion capture facilities and is now powered by Optitrack.
They describe themselves as a creative consultancy company with a research background specialising in content for VR & AR, motion capture and complex projects. These pioneers of mocap provide commercial services as well as research and design to a wide range of industries, including gaming, events, film, advertising and performance solutions. While DML employs a sizable staff directly they are also part of a much larger research centre and the School of Communication and Creative Arts.
DML’s OptiTrack Prime 41 and Prime 17W cameras
The facility at DML boasts a large in house tracking area which is well covered by their combination of new OptiTrack Prime 41 and Prime 17W cameras. The system is providing fantastic results and has proven to be very powerful, tracking 15 people without a problem in tests, a number not limited by the system but rather the amount of markers and suits the team had available.
The team at DML have found that the OptiTrack cameras pack a real punch for their price, and as they often take their technology on the road have found the OptiTrack solution to be more portable and provide greater flexibility, even allowing for the possibility of working in outdoor environments. They’ve also found them more reliable, easier to connect, recalibrate and set up.
Two of DML’s roster of highly experienced mocap trained actors, drive characters in real time, using data streamed live OptiTrack’s Motive:Body software.
“We are extremely proud to have OptiTrack systems exceeding expectations at Deakin Motion.Lab” said Chris Sutton, Tracklab Director. “The affordability, power, flexibility and reliability of the OptiTrack cameras are second to none and we are seeing a huge amount of enthusiasm for the Optitrack solutions across many markets. We were thrilled to be given the opportunity to bid for the DML installation and we are very excited to see what DML will achieve with their system in the future.”
We caught up with Dr. Jordan Beth Vincent, Research Fellow at Deakin Motion.Lab, a few months after the OptiTrack solution had been put through its paces to find out how it was fitting in at DML.
Can you provide a brief description of the requirements that lead to purchasing your new OptiTrack system?
Deakin Motion.Lab was first established in 2006, as a way to provide motion capture capacity both to research interests and for the Melbourne-based film, games and television industry. Our facility is commercial grade and state-of-the art. After ten years we were ready to update our system. We spent about a year exploring all the motion capture solutions on the market before deciding to invest in a large OptiTrack system. It was important to us to work with a local distributor like Tracklab, to find a system that was modular enough to accommodate the range of work we do, but also could be reasonably mobile. Our work often takes us outside of our home studio in Burwood, and the OptiTrack system is lightweight, easy to set up and calibrate.
What equipment was required?
We purchased a split system of the Prime 41s and the 17W. We are very happy with the field of view from 17W camera. Combining that with the strength of the Prime 41 has allowed us to construct a system that can cover our volume very well, and almost completely eliminate occlusion of markers even with multiple talents on stage.
OptiTrack’s top of the range Prime 41 camera.
How have you found the OptiTrack system?
We have been really pleased with the new system. Our move to Optitrack was not spur-of-the-moment—we worked with an eight camera demo system that Tracklab supplied us before making the decision, so we were very aware of the benefits and capabilities of the system.
What assistance was required?
The ability to test out the OptiTrack cameras in our own studio was crucial to making an informed decision, and Chris, from Tracklab, was able to help facilitate that for us.
What services do you provide?
We consider ourselves a creative consultancy, but are very proud of our strong research background at Deakin University. We provide motion capture services, VR/AR design and implementation, app design, virtual production and real-time animation, and have worked on a range of projects that bring art, movement and technology together. Our work is out-of-the-box and cutting edge, and we spend a great deal of time working on blue-sky, creative research projects that allow us to really push the boundaries of design and technology.
Can anyone walk in off the street and access your services?
Yes, we are always happy to discuss projects and industry collaborations. Our contact details are on our website at www.deakinmotionlab.com
What are some of the more recognisable works you’ve been involved in?
Our work has been presented on the main stage of Federation Square for White Night Melbourne, at the Melbourne Festival, at the opening performance of the Unite Conference, and we even had a role in a recent performance for the Adobe Symposium. We’ve done motion capture for film, television and gaming, winning awards for collaborations on high-profile projects. You can see some more details at our website at www.deakinmotionlab.com
If you would like to see how Tracklab can help you with OptiTrack systems or services please contact us today.