Fast Growing Motion Capture Industry – Predictions and Analysis
Have you ever wondered how popular characters in movies like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings look and act so realistic? How do all the virtual people in the popular Sims video game act so natural? The answer to all of these questions is motion capture. Even though this technology is very popular today, as we will see later on, many experts predict that it will keep growing over the next 4-5 years as well. Before we get into why the motion capture market is so popular, let’s take a refresher course on exactly what is motion capture.
What is Motion Capture?
Motion capture refers to a computer recording all of the motions of a human being. You may have seen actors wearing suits with what appears to be ping-pong balls attached to them, but in fact, they are the sensors that capture all the movements. In some big productions, like the famous movie Avatar, the director will want to capture even the finest movements such as facial expressions. This is one of the areas that motion capture services are still working on perfecting because the average person makes so many facial expressions that it is hard to record them all.
While motion capture can be costly and time-consuming since it is often required to reshoot a scene to get exactly the right motions and record them, it is becoming something that modern-day directors simply cannot live without. Interestingly enough, there are other uses for motion capture besides movies and video games:
- Web – Motion capture is great for virtual hosting and greeting cards
- Live events – Think of it as a combination of improvisation and computer graphics. This is very useful for trade shows and press conferences where a good actor or improviser can act through a character created with computer graphics in real-time.
- Scientific research – Motion capture assists with perceptual research studies. Scientists can create repeatable experiments that could offer valuable insights into human perceptions.
- Biomechanical analysis – researchers use motion capture for rehabilitation purposes. Doctors are able to assess the extent of a patient’s disability and their progress towards rehabilitation.
Since motion capture offers so many benefits and uses to a wide range of industries, no wonder it is such popular right now and is expected to grow in the future. Speaking of the future, let’s take a look at expert predictions about the motion capture industry.
The Future of Motion Capture
After conducting motion capture industry analysis, many industry insiders expect to see a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% between 2018-2023. However, this number has been updated for the period of 2019-2024 to 12.12%. In fact, five years from now, motion capture is expected to be a $252.8 million industry. Also, since the industry is growly at such a fast pace, it is spurring the development of new improvements and advancements such as markerless, which means that there will not be a need for the ping-pong balls. Also, mocap industries are working on making the systems more portable and cheaper.
One of the most significant factors driving such growth is the demand for high-quality 3D animations. For movies, TV and video games. Life-like characters can be created faster with motion capture. In these industries, even a slight delay in production could be very costly. Therefore, motion capture not only helps them create animated characters but also helps keep costs down and deliver the project on time.
Furthermore, North America is expected to be the largest market for motion capture due to large markets of entertainment, sports, and medical sciences. More specifically, motion capture in sports medicine is predicted to grow since high-contact, and injury-prone sports such as football and hockey are trendy in the United States. Europe is also expected to get in on the motion capture market with countries such as Great Britain and Germany leading the way. In fact, even though North America is still expected to be the biggest market for motion capture, the technology is growing at a faster rate in Europe.
When we look at the motion capture market from a competitive point of view, it is very fragmented without any dominant players monopolizing the market. This is good news for new companies creating innovative products such as an integrated skeleton solver which was launched by a company called QualysisAB. This new product offers direct streaming without the need for third-party software. This is just one of the many examples of new companies entering the market and offering solutions that make motion capture easier and cheaper to use.
Motion Capture is Here to Stay
The demand for new movies with amazing graphics is not expected to go down any time soon. For example, this year, Avengers – End Game was released and had a budget of $356 million. This is the most expensive movie that has ever been created. One of the reasons for this was to accommodate the growing number of 3D screens in the US, but it also shows that the viewers demand animated characters in the movies to increase the fluidity and quality of their motions and actions. In other words, moviegoers expect fictional characters to act just exactly like human beings. For movie, television and video-game creators, this means that motion capture is indispensable right now and, in the future, as was demonstrated by the numbers.