updated 03:30 pm EDT, Mon August 6, 2007
NaturalPoint today planned to democratize motion capture through ARENA, a hardware and software pack for budget editors. Where most systems need a dedicated environment and a crew, the new method requires just the six cameras, the bundled calibration tools, and a motion capture suit. The software itself is well-suited to amateur game developers and hobbyists as it doesn't require a second person to monitor the system while the actor performs in front of the cameras, NaturalPoint adds.
The system starts at $5,000 -- a sixth of the normal cost associated with motion capture, according to the company -- and connects to Windows PCs through two USB hubs. More dedicated enthusiasts and studios can scale up to 12 cameras and environments as large as 20 feet for elaborate or multi-actor scenes. Shipments are slated to begin during the fall.