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MIT Creates Projector-Based Approach to Capture Motion

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:00am

Editor's Note: My only problem with film-makers using CGI and motion-capture tech in films is that sometimes doing it the hard way makes for a better picture. 

 (TechnologyReview.com) -Researchers at MIT have developed a new system that may provide a cheaper and more efficient way to track motion. The system, called Second Skin, could be a cheaper alternative for creating special effects for movies. The researchers say that they hope it will also be used to help people monitor their own motions so that they can practice physical therapy or perfect their tai chi moves.

In contrast to traditional optical tracking systems, Second Skin doesn't rely on cameras at all. Instead, the system uses inexpensive projectors that can be mounted in ceilings or outdoors. Therefore, the system can be used indoors and out without special lighting, and it costs only a few thousand dollars, says Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor at MIT's Media Lab and the main researcher of Second Skin along with graduate student Dennis Miaw.

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