Getting Started: HardwareYou will need:• A Kinect, or generic equivalent such as the Asus Xtion• USB adapter cable, if you have a Kinect that was bundled with the Xbox (don’t buy the Microsoft adapter, the cheap ones work fine)• Enough space to perform
Capturing• Record 15-point 3D skeletal tracking data• Capture in sync to dialogue• Remote control with a standard presentation remote• Open source and cross-platform: runs on OpenNI, built in Processing, also works with generic sensors like the Asus Xtion
Acting for Kinect• The Kinect can’t record what it can’t see. • Keep your entire body in the camera’s range • Face the camera when capturing • Watch out for occluded joints (sitting down, putting your hands behind your back etc. can cause it to lose the track)• It’s surprisingly good at picking up subtle posture shifts, but not smaller motions like laughter.• Use a different performer for each character if possible
Importing tracking dataNative import or copy & paste
Getting data into After EffectsData format options:• 3D Point Controls (CS5.5+)• 2D Point Controls (CS4+)• Puppet pins• Raw XML and JSON
UI Panel• Create character templates• 2D and 3D setups• Native XML import (SLOW)• Automatically add expressions to smooth tracking data• Automate rigging
The Puppet ToolTHREE OR MORE PINS ON ONE LAYER: TWO PINS EACH, MULTIPLE LAYERS:Elbows don’t bend this way. Ow. Rotation with stretch and squash!
AE Puppet best practices• Work BIG. Start high-res, scale down in the puppet comp, then scale back up in the project comp (enable Collapse Transformations).• Precompose if you’re using vectors or shape layers• Keep multiple angles of the same character in sync High-res Start big. Character Layers Project Comp End big. Rigging Template
Quick auto-lip sync1. Convert audio amplitude to keyframes2. Connect to mouth animation3. Size the audio data to fit. Use this expression: linear(source,sourceMin,sourceMax,targetMin,targetMax)
Beyond After EffectsMotion capture for live production
One last thought:Embrace the limitations of the format.
Further non-K2P toolsFREE COMMERCIALBrekel Kinect iPi Soft Open-source capture for 3D Uses two Kinects to record animation (Windows-only) www.ipisoft.com www.brekel.com NI MateDuik Kinect for OSC/MIDI/Blender Inverse kinematics plugin for AE www.ni-mate.com www.duduf.net