Are SecondLife Avatars, 3D Animations and Motion Capture Ready for Dancers?

Here's a post I wrote this morning in my Kinetic Interface blog. I look forward to comments, especially from those who have worked with motion capture and 3D animation.

Summary: There are a number of efforts underway to make the 3D animated human form more lifelike. These developments are taking place both in virtual worlds such as SecondLife and with 3D animations initiated through motion capture systems. The end result will be the creation of personally-identifiable animations that move and act as their real-world counterparts.

These advances in 3D animation coupled with improved and less expensive capture technologies and animation software will, I believe, lead to large numbers of dancers experimenting with virtual worlds and different approaches to creating more realistic animations. Quality dance animations offer new avenues for creativity, marketing, studying choreography, revenue generation and the re-staging historical dance works. But the question remains how long it will take before the tools and software will be realistically ready for the dance community.

In this post, I cover:

* The Avatar Puppeteering project from Second Life
* Hands Free 3D's movement-based approach for controlling avatars
* The Laban Motion Capture Project at NYU
* The PhaseSpace active marker optical motional capture system
* Facial capture from Mova

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