IKinema Teases More Impressive Full Body Mocap with Vive Tracker


A new video produced by IKinema showcases Orion, their new full-body animation system that uses HTC Vive tracking hardware. Their expertise in inverse kinematics results in convincing, affordable motion capture using a small number of tracking points.

The Vive Tracker’s two main uses are to attach to physical objects (such as a peripheral or camera) that can be tracked separately in VR, and to attach to the body, in order to enhance body tracking beyond the head and hands. By attaching Trackers in the most effective places, combined with inverse kinematics, a form of full-body motion capture can be generated; HTC themselves recently released code to illustrate this technique.

In February, an earlier version of IKinema’s ‘Project Orion’ was shown using extra Vive motion controllers strapped to the feet and waist. With the launch of the dedicated Vive Trackers, this technology has now been polished to what is now ‘Orion’, a middleware available from this quarter, that produces convincing motion capture. The latest video (heading this article) shows very impressive results from the raw data capture with no post-processing.

A standard Orion licence costs $500 per year. Requiring a single PC, HTC Vive and three Vive Trackers, the entry price for this quality of motion capture is very low compared to more traditional methods, while being more convenient to set up; achievable in smaller, non-dedicated spaces, and without the need for cumbersome tracking suits.

IKinema, a UK-based provider of high-end middleware and technology since 2006, say that Orion’s solved skeleton output is suitable for game engines, 3D packages, custom rendering environments, and VR/AR experiences. It sees the technology as very useful for game developers prototyping animation, as well as the simulation, enterprise, retail, medical and automotive industries. In its Orion factsheet, IKinema also suggests the real-time nature should prove “particularly useful to those conducting mixed-reality live shows, staged events, promotional on-site VR experiences and VR theatre.”

HTC Releases Full Body Tracking Code for Use with Vive and Trackers

Developers can register their interest on IKinema’s Orion webpage.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • Foreign Devil

    So many implications. .. Interactive VR theatre would be one of them. . could see something like that at Disney World.

  • NooYawker

    That’s pretty amazing, I would have liked to see her jump in the air and see if it can track that. Can’t wait to see consumer releases.
    That dancer has a huge place space as well.

    • benz145

      It shouldn’t have any trouble tracking it because the system is capable of absolute positional tracking. Many other low-end systems like this use IMUs which have a much more difficult time with jumps and things since there are inherently relative tracking only.

      • Guest

        Yeah, it SHOULD not, ha ha

        Snake kung fu would look very IKy!

  • Christian Vogelgesang

    Just a good example why inverse kinematic is not good enough.

    • guest

      Yeah, weak dancing because most dance forms would break it. Any good belly dancer could make it crash with enough counter-rotations!

  • Xron

    they say 6 trackers?
    1 head, other belly, 2 foots, so 2 another trackers are vive controlers?