Ubisoft Toronto Opens New Performance Capture Studio

It’s a move that will place Toronto high among the cities known for producing video games. Acclaimed game publisher and developer Ubisoft has opened a cutting-edge Performance Capture Studio as part of their Toronto development studio. The video report above is one I shot for Studio 12 News and it covers the main points like the face-mounted cameras which set this facility above the many other motion or performance capture studios around the world. What I didn’t have enough time for is a special camera that can be used by the director later, long after the actors have gone home, to re-shoot the scene from different angles. It uses the computer data to recreate the actors’ presence and through his special camera it’s as if their still there to work with.

Here’s some fun facts:

– The space is called a “volume” and it is 2,000 feet square, large enough to shoot many characters together

– There are 80 Vicon T160 Motion Capture Cameras with high resolution, offering both accuracy and flexibility in taking in data

– The Wireless Helmet Cameras are needed to record accurate facial captures that are then synced in real-time with the voice and body capture tracks.

– A sound stage, featuring a “box within a box” design, offers a higher quality performance capture

– High-load stunt and rigging beams mean that it’s possible to shoot aerial stuns and physical movements, such as ratchets that violently pull actors across the room

The facility will be used to support the 26 game design studios Ubisoft has around the world, but also help grow Ubisoft’s relationship with filmmakers and will be made available to students through an educational partnership with Sheridan College and its Screen Industries and Research Training Centre (SIRT). This idea will be to allow students to use the facility for their projects, but also hopefully to stimulate them to help invent the next innovations for performance capture technology too.

If you’re interested for more, you can also watch the full presentation by director David Footman here and the full interview with stars Kate & Dwayne here.

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