Toronto Gets A Motion Capture Studio For Games, Apps
It’s more than the creation of new jobs, it’s about raising the city’s reputation too. Ubisoft Toronto has opened a new cutting-edge facility that uses special cameras to capture the performances of actors and stunt teams for use in leading games and apps. I had a chance to tour the facility as it was being opened, an experience I can share with you below.
It’s a 2,000 square foot space, surrounded by 80 Vicon T160 Motion Capture Cameras. This makes it larger than most of the Performance Capture Studios around the world. It’s large enough to have entire troupes of performers in one space and, thanks to high-load rigging beams, to perform action stunts on flying wires. Beyond the size, there’s hi-tech additions that help in giving it a leading edge. Wireless Helmet Cameras work with the tracking suits to sync detailed facial expressions with voice and body movements. A special camera-and-monitor unit allows directors to return to the studio, long after the actors have gone home, and reshoot scenes from different angles, using a special screen that reproduces the presence of the actors and their recorded acting in a three-dimensional space.
Ubisoft is a world-leader in video games, known for the Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Far Cry series amongst others and with 26 development studios around the world, this will make Toronto the hub for all their computerized acting. They have a very strong relationship with the film industry and so it’s expected the studio will also be used in making movies and animated films.
There was a time when actors would be brought in to perform for video games alone, but with the rise of smartphones and tablets, and the rising demand for interactive apps, Ubisoft says they see little distinction today between apps and traditional video games. Their investment in this new studio is as much about the iPad or Android smartphone as it is about Xbox or PlayStation systems.