Phosphor Games uses Vicon motion capture system to create Nether demons
Bonita cameras and Blade software deliver fast, affordable production
CHICAGO, IL – June 9, 2014 – Vicon, the motion capture technology specialists for the entertainment, life sciences and engineering industries, has announced that Chicago-based games developer Phosphor Games used a Vicon motion capture system to create realistic character and creature animation for the new first-person shooter online game, Nether.
Published by Nether Productions LLC, Nether is set in an unforgiving, post-apocalyptic urban environment - based loosely on Chicago - with danger waiting around every corner. Players are forced to make quick, life-saving decisions, and use skill and craft to obtain resources to survive in the sprawling, desolate city. They must choose whether to team up with others or go solo against the powerful, teleporting demon-like creatures known as the Nethers, other players, and unpredictable, treacherous world objectives.
Phosphor Games used Vicon Bonita optical motion capture cameras and Blade real-time motion capture software to create the human characters and the Nethers. According to Phosphor Games’ director of animation Alan Cruz, the mocap process allowed them to experiment with and evolve the animation, humanizing or demonizing it, and adding their own creative style – producing a unique end result.
“The Vicon system allows us to keep working at our craft,” explained Cruz. “The process is very quick. What used to take weeks now takes just two or three hours. It allows us to spend more time acting things out, as well as iterating and finessing the animation. We can get an animation into the game in less than ten minutes, which is huge. Clean up times are minimal, and data editing times are a fraction of what they used to be. We used to have a team of guys editing the data – now we just need one.”
Vicon’s Bonita cameras deliver high-quality motion capture at an affordable price, enabling Phosphor Games to easily and precisely capture fast movements. The Bonita cameras are integrated with Vicon’s Blade software, which powers Phosphor Games’ efficient production pipeline.
“The Vicon system gives Phosphor Games a very fast, precise motion capture solution, resulting in highly realistic character animation in Nether,” said Jeffrey Ovadya, sales director, Vicon. “The time and cost savings the Vicon system delivers has enabled the team to spend more time on the creative aspects and focus on creating a unique, immersive game.”
Nether is currently in beta on Steam Early Access.
Academy Award®-winning Vicon is the world’s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems and match-moving software. It serves customers in CG animation, film, visual effects, computer games, broadcast television, as well as engineering and life sciences industries.
Vicon is a subsidiary of OMG (Oxford Metrics Group - LSE: OMG), plc., a group of technology companies that produces image understanding solutions for the entertainment, defence, life sciences and engineering markets. Other holdings include: 2d3, a manufacturer of specialized image understanding software for defense applications; Yotta a provider of software and services for infrastructure asset management; and OMG Life, a new consumer subsidiary.
Among many others, Vicon and OMG global clients include:
- Entertainment: Audiomotion, The Imaginarium, Quantic Dream, SEGA, Konami, Activision, Sony, Dreamworks, ILM and USC
- Life Sciences: Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre - Oxford, Headley Court, University of Western Australia, Adidas, Digital Human Research Centre - Japan, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Shriners, Marquette, UMich and Red Bull
- Engineering: European Space Agency, BMW, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – South Africa, ETH Zurich, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, NRL, UPENN GRASP, MIT, Ford and General Motors