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Art Hack: A Motion-Capture Masterclass

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Doug McDonell Building

HCI Lab, Room 5.11

Parkville, VIC 3052

Australia

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This 2-day Art Hack, conducted by MetaObjects and hosted by Interaction Design Lab at the University of Melbourne, explores the diverse application of motion-capture technologies within digital and performance art and provides an introduction to capturing movements of the body using these tools. On the first day, participants will learn how to capture data using advanced motion-capture systems such as OptiTrack, and how to import and apply the motion data within 3D animation software such as Blender and real-time performance using 3D engines such as Unity. On the second day, participants will work in groups to develop an artistic project. The results will be presented in a public exhibition at the University, coinciding with Melbourne Orientation Week.

MetaObjects is a Hong Kong and London-based studio founded by Andrew Crowe and Ashley Lee Wong that facilitates digital production with artists and cultural institutions. As an example of their work, MetaObjects, together with Shanghai artist Lu Yang, created a series of motion-capture performances, Electromagnetic Brainology Live exploring neurology, Buddhism, and the human body. By tracking the movements of a dancer live on stage, and mapping them to 3D avatars displayed on a screen, they created a high-energy performance through anime and games aesthetics, Japanese dance music and hip-hop dance.

Lu Yang and MetaObjects will premiere a new work at Asia TOPA 2020 - Lu Yang Delusional World, at Federation Square on the 6th of March.

Schedule:

  • Day 1: Thu, Feb 27: 10am-6pm (full-day)
    • Session 1: 10am-12pm (3 hours)
      • Room: HCI Lab, Room 5.11, Doug McDonell Building 168, The University of Melbourne
      • The first session will explore the evolution of motion-capture and its various uses and applications through examples of work. MetaObjects will then run through the process of capturing data of a dancer using the OptiTrack motion-tracking system. Participants are asked to suggest types of movements they would like to capture to be used in a project.
    • Lunch: 12pm-1pm
    • Session 2: 1pm-6pm (4 hours)
      • Room: Usability Lab, Room 9.08, Doug McDonell Building 168, The University of Melbourne
      • The second session will take place in the studio with a tutorial on how to import the data captured on the first day and to explore how to apply the data to an avatar to create a 3D animation using software such as Blender and Unity. Participants will be shown how to find and use assets from various online asset stores.

Participants are requested to bring their own Mac or PC laptops and download the free software Blender and Unity in advance. Groups will be formed to each come up with a creative project they would like to create on the second day using motion-capture and 3D animation.

  • Day 2: Fri, Feb 28: 10am-6pm (full-day)
    • Session 1: 10am-12pm (3 hours)
      • Room: UsabilityComputer Lab, Room 9.08, Doug McDonell Building 168, The University of Melbourne
      • On the second day, participants will be free to start working on their projects with support from MetaObjects. Each group will be given the same set of motion-data captured on the first day to start developing their project in Unity or Blender as a group.
    • Lunch: 12pm-1pm
    • Session 2: 1pm-6pm (4 hours)
      • Room: UsabilityComputer Lab, Room 9.08, Doug McDonell Building 168, The University of Melbourne
      • After lunch, MetaObjects will go around for a review session and progress check with each group to discuss any issues or challenges. Participants will be asked to present their work at the end of the day. The results of the works will be presented in an exhibition at the University. Location to be confirmed.

This event is supported by the School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne. Presented as part of Asia TOPA’s Sinofuturists Program curated by Mat Spisbah.

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Doug McDonell Building

HCI Lab, Room 5.11

Parkville, VIC 3052

Australia

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