During the MoCap Lab seminars we encourage students to use their own knowledge and skills in combination with real-time motion capture technology. We emphasize a creative approach when using the human body as an interface to the digital realm. The 3 to 4 week events usually involve groups of up to 15 participants. The students tend to come from different pathways, like Interaction Design, Game Design or Audio Design and might come from any of the 4 years of the school’s curriculum. Although knowledge of any real-time media application or programming is useful, nothing beyond basic computer skills are required to join the seminar.
Participants focus on the following challenge:
"Design and develop (in a team) an experimental interactive interface on the basis of real-time motion capture. Keep in mind the following questions: How can a full-body interface be useful in an interactive system? How can the powers of expression of the human body add value to human-computer interaction?"
To fully tackle this problem, students are required to develop a number of technical skills as well as consider the more conceptual side of a full body interface.
We start off the seminar by introducing our ideas on different interaction modalities. This gives us a chance to show some previous examples of experiments and stimulate students to consider and discuss the wide range of possibilities open to them. Next we familiarize them with the technology and tools they will be working with. After explaining them the general flow and technology of the motion capture process, the students get classes in Kaydara’s Filmbox software. Filmbox contains a simple node based programming environment which is a great introduction to programming, as it is simple but versatile enough to allow for plenty of creativity. The participants are also taught how to setup Animazoo’s Gypsy motion capture suit which we will be bringing along. This allows them to operate the technology independently for their own experiments during the seminar. After these initial classes, the participants are divided into small groups to development their own concepts and produce working interactive prototypes. During this stage of the process we remain available for support and advice.
On the final day of the MoCap Lab seminar the participants present the results to their peers. These results can range from full body interface tools, to games, performances or any interactive system that explores the connection between human motion and the digital space.