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News Sourced Sports Wired

Computer animation makes Olympic athletes swim like dolphins

Washington, August 11 (ANI): Researchers have tried the technique of motion-capture animation with Olympic athletes – taping sensors to the swimmer Dana Vollmer and the diver Abby Johnston to give them computer-generated effects much like the blue Pandorans in ‘Avatar’.

Researchers from New York University set up a company called Manhattan Mocap, and shot video of the athletes from myriad angles.

They produced some beautiful pieces of computer animation – but the real purpose was to see how the swimmers moved through the water and how they could improve.

Motion-capture animation by Manhattan Mocap shows how Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer moves through the water much as a dolphin does.

“I’m a very visual learner; I watch a lot of video,” ABC News quoted Johnston as saying.

“So I’m excited to see different angles, and I think that will enhance my training and give me a different perspective on what goes on while I’m diving,” she said.

They found that while swimmers need a strong kick and powerful stroke, what really matters is how they move through the water.

Vollmer, they concluded, swims a bit like a dolphin, shimmying along with very little drag. (ANI)