HOUSE OF MOVES DEBUTS EYE TRACKING ANIMATION PROCESS IN EA’S NEED FOR SPEED: THE RUN
Leading motion capture and animation service company House of Moves (HOM) put their newly revealed electrooculography (EOG) capture pipeline to work for the first time on EA’s video game Need For Speed: The Run, now available. Developed by Black Box Studios, the high-octane racing game features the exact digital likenesses of various actors, including Sean Faris and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, as well as Sport Illustrated swimsuit models Irina Shayk and Chrissy Teigen, made possible by HOM’s EOG process.
Having previously collaborated with HOM on work for the video games Dead Space 2, Dante’s Inferno and Army of Two: The 40th Day, EA producers were well aware of HOM’s motion capture and animation capabilities. EA approached HOM in March 2011 looking for a place to capture eyeball movement for Need For Speed: The Run to deliver more lifelike characters. Ever up for the challenge, the HOM team set to work on bridging existing technologies and developing new ones, resulting in the EOG eye tracking process that, when combined with their current system, enables the creation of incredibly emotive digital characters.
Full performance capture was done on ten performers over the course of three days on HOM’s secondary 459 square foot stage that features 200 Vicon T160 cameras and is geared towards capturing detailed facial performances. For the EOG, HOM used four electrodes affixed around the eyes of a performer to track ocular muscle movement capturing eyeball tracking for animation. Custom HOM tools bring the data into Vicon’s Blade full performance capture software resulting in animation-ready files.
After performance data and audio were captured, HOM retargeted data for the body, face, fingers and eyes. Facial animation was also completed by HOM with the entire project taking about a month and a half to complete.
“With the all of the advancements in animation, CG characters are becoming increasingly more believable, but the trick to bridging the uncanny valley is realistic eye movement,” said Brian Rausch, Vice President of Production, House of Moves. “Using EOG technology in our mocap sessions requires very little additional hardware or post processing time but injects a tremendous amount of possibility into the data captured.”