At the University of Bath's Centre for Analysis
of Motion, Entertainment Research & Applications (CAMERA),
scientist are developing a new technique that will use the
movements of a two-legged human actor to drive a four-legged
They aim to enhance motion capture - a technique made famous by
actor Andy Serkis in the "Lord of the Rings" and "Planet of the
Apes" - with actors wearing special suits marked with motion
trackers and face scanners, so that their movements and
expressions can be used to power animated characters.
"We're going to teach the computer how to replace a human with
animal movement, sourcing it from the database," Martin Parsons,
the head of studio at CAMERA, told Reuters.
"So as a person moves at a certain speed in a certain direction
the computer will replace that person's movement with the animal
movement," he added.
The dogs taking part in the research wear coats fitted with
reflective markers, which have infrared light bounced off of
them. The light is scanned by special cameras, which records
their position in three dimensions and allows the animal's
movement to be reconstructed on a computer screen.
Eight mixed-breed dogs, recruited from a local sanctuary, have
taken part so far, but the University of Bath researchers aim to
expand the database significantly over time.
(Reporting by Matthew Stock; writing by Mark Hanrahan in London;
editing by Alexander Smith)
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