For the past three years, a very small number of universities have set up stalls at PAX Australia – and they usually just distribute information about their courses in relation to games development. This year, Deakin has done something a little bit different: they are showing off their technology in its Motion Lab.
You may have seen their work before. The Motion Lab was behind the Vox Lumen display at this year’s White Night Melbourne event. They also presented an immersive 3D opera production of The Flying Dutchman with Victorian Opera at the Palais Theatre (also this year). Their work was a finalist at this year’s Unity Awards.
The lab was created in 2006 as a partnership between Deakin University, the Victorian Government and Act3 Animation, with the idea to deliver creative and innovative solutions using motion capture.
“Our brief was to increase the infrastructure capacity for games and all kinds of digital content in Victoria. Since then, we have worked with many companies… and also a number of research projects into motion capture and use in different art forms,” Professor Kim Vincs, the Director of the Deakin Motion Lab, told TechGeek.
The lab also has an education component, with students utilising its technology in the Motion Lab for their project.
The Motion Lab team is showing two demos at this year’s PAX Australia event. The first one is their real-time motion capture pipeline called Alchemy. This helps directors by capturing the motion and presenting that in real-time, so they see if their narrative is working or not.
The second demo is their motion-capture VR setup. It is essentially an Oculus Rift and gloves with motion sensors on them, but it has an impressive space demo that shows the potential of motion-capture VR. It was able to capture my hand and arm movements and display them on the screen in real-time. One downside is that you couldn’t “grab” and “pull” things towards you, but at least you can stuff out of the way.
If you are at PAX on Sunday, I suggest you take some time and have a look. Otherwise, you can have a look at the amazing stuff they do on their website.