[dance-tech] Motion capture archives

  • From: "Tom Calvert" <tom@xxxxxx>
  • To: <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 18:42:00 -0800

This is in response to the post from Stephan Jurgens.

First, regarding free motion capture data.  I know of two sources that have
files you can download.  The variety of movement available is mixed.  The
first is from Carnegie-Mellon University and is quite extensive, although
certainly not focused on dance. They have 1648 trials in 6 categories and 23
subcategories.  The second is from Animazoo and provides examples of motion
captured with this company's mocap technology - this technology involves
strapping instrumentation (goniometers) onto the body.

Carnegie-Mellon University


I am sure that there are many others who have extensive mocap data that they
would be willing to share.  But that gets into all kinds of copyright
issues.  Do a Google search on mocap and dance.

Commercially, my company, Credo Interactive Inc,  has a CD entitled
MegaMoCap that provides motion capture data for a variety of movements in a
wide variety of formats (the problem with mocap is that there are a number
of different formats).   See

We also have a CD Ballet Moves II by Rhonda Ryman.  This is not mocap, but
rather animations in DanceForms of English ballet sequences accompanied
with metronome beats. Ballet Moves II  also includes a complete Russian
Dance library and selected palettes & motions from the Italian school.  See

I know others have mocap data available commercially, although it has been a
difficult area for companies to see a consistent market.

Without wanting to plug Credo too much, I should mention that our DanceForms
(formerly Life Forms Dance) software can easily integrate mocap data from a
variety of formats with DanceForms animations.  Everyone knows that editing
mocap data is difficult - compared to animation the data it is very dense.
But with patience you can do whatever you want in DanceForms.

At Simon Fraser University in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology
we have been experimenting with searchable repositories of movement clips
(mocap and animation).  The clips are described with metadata that
facilitates a search. We have prototype repositories for ballet and for
other human movement.  But these are not ready to be released yet - in part
because the technology is under development and in part because of copyright

Tom Calvert
Credo Interactive Inc, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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