With Viewers Per Episode Numbering In The Tens of Millions, Show Creators Integrate Markerless Motion Capture TooI Into Increasingly Challenging Workflow
Apr 18, 2016 – iPi Motion Capture, the leading markerless motion capture solution created by iPi Soft, has been added to the creative arsenal of the hugely-popular YouTube show “Death Battle” seen on ScrewAttack!, the production studio / entertainment brand under the Rooster Teeth umbrella, which creates content focused on gamer culture for YouTube and their website. Season Three of the show, which attracts tens of millions views per episode, recently premiered featuring a new, more sophisticated post production workflow anchored by iPi’s game-changing mocap tool.
“Using motion capture is a relatively new addition to the overall production process behind our 3D fights,” Torrian Crawford, Lead 3D Animator / Action Director for the hit online show, says. “It’s made making animation for humanoid characters a lot easier and provides a great base for any adjustments. The multi camera setup has also proved to be a great tool for creating non-motion capture animation references.”
Each episode of “Death Battle” imagines a fight to the death between pop culture’s deadliest characters. Told in a tongue-in-cheek, comedic way, the show features a “pre-game” section in which (much like a typical boxing broadcast), a hyper-sounding announcer outlines each fighter’s strengths and weaknesses. From there it’s time to rumble, with videogame style animation showcasing the often intricate fight sequences.
Crawford noted that the Austin, TX-based production has used iPI Motion Capture in concert with 6 PlayStation Eye cameras and 3 PlayStation Move controllers on ten episodes in the new season, featuring enhanced use of 3D animation.
“I have been using the software to lay down base animations for all realistic and sometimes non-realistic movements, stunts and actions,” Crawford explains. “The content is then saved and imported into Autodesk 3Ds Max where it is cleaned up and edited to fit the needs of the scene and characters.”
Crawford noted that iPi Motion Capture software proved essential on a recent episode featuring the character Dante (video game character from “Devil May Cry”) vs. Bayonetta (a videogame character) in which Crawford and his team needed to capture a large amount of the fight choreography and stunts.
“The affordability of iPi Motion Capture was huge for us,” Crawford says. “My experience with iPi Soft was so positive we decided to build out our in-house animation department and mocap studio using it. The software’s simplicity, flexibility and ease of use gives me the ability to track multiple people without the need for expensive suits or marker placement.”
iPi Motion Capture in action on “Death Battle”: