Rokoko has launched Rokoko Video, a free AI-trained browser-based tool that extracts motion data from video footage and retargets it to 3D characters.
The animation can be cleaned in Rokoko’s Studio software, which can also be used for free, and exported in FBX and BVH format, for use in 3D apps like Blender or Maya, or game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine.
Not the first browser-based mocap tool, but one developed by an existing motion capture specialist
Rokoko Video isn’t the only free AI-trained tool to extract the motion of an actor from video footage and transfer it to a 3D character for use in animation, AR, game development or visual effects work.
This year alone, we’ve covered start-ups Kinetix, Plask and PixCap, and more established firms like DeepMotion also have free usage tiers.
However, Rokoko Video is unusual for being developed by a conventional motion capture developer: Rokoko’s other products include the well-regarded SmartSuit Pro II inertial mocap suit and Smartgloves.
Extract full-body motion from video and edit it in Rokoko Studio
Users can record their own movements to Rokoko Video with a webcam, or upload a video of an actor.
Rokoko then processes the video in the cloud, extracting the motion of the actor’s body and limbs: according to Rokoko’s online FAQs, it takes around 30-40 seconds to process 10 seconds of video.
The animation data can then be cleaned up in Rokoko Studio, Rokoko’s motion capture data-processing software, which can also be used for free.
That has the key advantage of making it possible to adjust foot locking with Rokoko Studio’s standard tools, foot slippage being a problem common to many video-based motion capture systems.
Export in FBX or BVH format for use in DCC apps and game engines
The data can then be exported from Rokoko Studio in FBX or BVH format, making it possible to use it in DCC applications like 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D and Maya, and game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine.
It’s possible to export either the skeleton alone – Rokoko Studio supports standard skeletal set-ups like Autodesk’s HumanIK and Adobe’s Mixamo – or to include a body mesh when exporting to Unreal.
According to Rokoko, the data generated isn’t as accurate as that produced by its hardware, and it’s only full-body motion: it doesn’t include the actor’s hand or facial movements, although Rokoko has an app for that.
However, it looks to be a quick way to quickly generate good-quality animation data for previs, or even for less demanding animation, games or VFX projects.
Price and system requirements
Rokoko Video is free, but you’ll need to register for a free Starter account on Rokoko’s website to use it. You can use Rokoko Video in any standard desktop web browser.
To edit and export animation requires Rokoko Studio (the Studio Beta edition, rather than the Studio Legacy edition), which is compatible with 64-bit Windows 10+ and macOS 11.0+.
The Studio software can also be used for free, although Starter accounts don’t include active customer support, or Rokoko’s integration plugins for streaming data to DCC software.
Register for free AI-trained browser-based mocap tool Rokoko Video on Rokoko’s website
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