REALISTIC CINEMATICS FOR GEARS OF WAR 3 CAPTURED AT HOM

House of Moves, a leading motion capture and animation service company, contributed to the cinematic animation and facial keyframing on the recently released video game, Gears of War 3. Developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft, sales for the highly anticipated third-person shooter soared when it hit shelves in late September.

Collaboration between House of Moves and Epic on the third installment of the billion-dollar Gears of War franchise began in January 2010. Epic completed all the motion capture for the game on its own stage, which features a Vicon mocap system. Prior to shooting,  HOM refined Epic’s mocap pipeline for the cinematic process and delivered front-end tools to improve capture of performances.

Once captured, Epic sent the raw data to HOM. The data was then reconstructed and uploaded into HOM’s online ordering tool for Epic to log into and order takes. After takes were selected, Vicon HOM tracked, solved, and retargeted the data, which was then sent back to Epic as FBX files, which are readily supported in the Unreal Engine. Epic seamlessly imported the files, laid in cameras, and exported data back to Maya. The files were then sent back to HOM for finishing. A team of about 44 worked on the project for approximately a year and a half, resulting in the completion of over 36,000 seconds of character work.

“A project of this scope really highlights both the animation capabilities at House of Moves and the quality of Vicon mocap systems,” said Brian Rausch, Vice President of Production,  House of Moves. “By setting up their own system but enlisting the help of House of Moves, Epic was able to capture the data on their own timeline and terms with the assurance the resulting data would be transformed into the compelling footage featured in Gears of War 3.”