Using Kinect Point Clouds To Animate Figures

Brazilian artist Jomário Murta used multiple Microsoft Kinects to generate a sequence of point clouds (a set of points in 3D space) as reference for creating animation. The process is akin to motion capture, but not the same:

This is something like animating over the videos. Just like we usually do as reference for timing and more complex movements. The difference is that I can animate three-dimensionally “inside” the video; the advantage instead of mocap is that the animation process is more free, where I can easily exaggerate the movements and play a lot with the poses without compromising my style of animation.

Murta admits that he is still in a research phase and hasn’t figured out any practical applications for the technique, but that’s to be expected of any exploration of a new technology. The results are promising thus far, and it’ll be interesting to see how he and others build on the process.


  • tim elliot

    That guy seems late to the party. Teams, like ipi soft have been developing for years markerless motion capture systems, which can use one or two Kinects… http://www.ipisoft.com

    • CG_Animator

      I don’t think he’s trying to do motion capture though… in fact, he said that in the video.

      What he’s trying to do is more along the lines of video reference in 3D-space which, I think, would be really cool if he could get it to work properly.

  • Cool

    Yeah, there’s no use for this at all in animation considering even when using mocap as a reference point it’s better to have it in the scene (as this does) but on the actual character rig (even if just for a side to side comparison) and plus the mocap data can be slid to accommodate an animators push and pull but it’s definitely pretty cool and the fact it’s running off relatively cheap hardware is pretty awesome!

    Imagine being able to virtually step/walk inside Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten dreams should he had captured the space this way with a couple Kinect cams. Pretty neat stuff.

  • LazyBoy

    What’s funny about Kinect is it way more interesting to use it apart from the games made for Kinect only.