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How next-gen motion capture will supercharge VR arcades

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You might know motion capture as the tech that transformed Andy Serkis into Gollum, but now it can transform everyday people into animated avatars in virtual worlds, and all in real-time. Motion capture—which uses body sensors, ultra-precise cameras, and modeling software to create 3D animations from real-life human movement—is now taking on location-based virtual reality, or LBVR.

PCWorld visited a leading motion capture company called Vicon in Oxford, England to learn how mocap has evolved to take on this new frontier in entertainment.

If you’ve watched behind-the-scenes footage of how motion capture (or mocap) works, you’ve probably seen actors in skintight lycra suits covered with golf ball-sized sensors. Normally, dozens of infrared cameras track these sensors to model an actor’s movements. But now Vicon has a new system called Origin that requires only one sensor on each limb, plus one for a VR headset.    

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