Mainstream motion capture performances have the paradoxical effect of looking both flawlessly perfect and utterly unconvincing and unnatural. The problem is that the directors who use motion capture aren’t interested in exploring the artistic possibilities of the tool they’re using so much as wanting an off-the-shelf technical solution for recreating something that already exists–human actors. Thankfully, there are artists like Ian Cheng and his fascinating mo-cap experiment This Papaya Tastes Perfect. In it, he explores a more honest form of motion capture that hasn’t yet been cleaned up into a sterile imitation of live-action, and in the process he discovers a more expressive and intimate use of the technology.
Cheng described the film to us as such:
Performed under the influence of whiskey, wrecking the mocap suit. . . .dirty data resulting in 3D animation as drunk and unprofessional as the characters within it. Un-integrated stupidity one-to-one at scale with its form. Note: you might have to tilt your laptop sideways or watch it on your cellphone.
DIRECTION & PRODUCTION: Ian Cheng
MEMORY: Christian de Vietri & Ian Cheng
CHOREOGRAPHY: Madeline Hollander
PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE: Jonny Mandabach
VOCAL PERFORMANCE: Sean Manning
MOTION CAPTURE SERVICES: Steve Day, Motion Capture NYC
THANKS: Mark Bowman, Paul Chan, Clay Deutsch, Pierre Huyghe, Roy Pak, Erik Wysocan