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Output Center


Wide Format Scanning at Design

Iowa State University’s College of Design offers at Widetek 36″ wide scanner in room 116 Design.

Motion Capture

Due to the complexity of the system, this is not self-serve equipment. The motion capture suit may only be used under the direct supervision of the lab manager (operator). The equipment is portable, but you will need to make arrangements in advance for special projects requiring capture outside of the College of Design. You must book a capture session to use the equipment.

Booking a Session (Fridays):

  1. You may book sessions up to 3 weeks in advance, but no later than the Tuesday prior to your desired session date. This ensures that you have time to prepare properly for your session. If you show up more than 15 minutes late, or are unprepared for your session, you will be asked to reschedule.
  2. There are 2-4 sessions available on capture days. Book early to secure your desired session. If you will not be ready by your scheduled session, please cancel your appointment. Available hours: 9-noon, and 1-4, Fridays. You will be emailed the location of your capture session within 24 hours of confirming your session date and time.
  3. Please call 294-7332, or email Joseph Bovenmyer ( to book your session.  The minimum session length is 90 minutes. If you have multiple actors, allow a minimum of 30 minutes for each additional person, due to the time needed to suit-up.

What types of motion can I capture?

We are limited to capturing body and limb movements. We do not have the capability to capture individual finger motion or facial motion. We can capture pointing toes and general hand movements. Running up stairs generally does not capture well, but simple walking up and down stairs works fine. We can capture dancing and martial arts movements, but more complex cleaning will be required. Motions involving activity potentially damaging to the gyros is not allowed (falling, hitting the ground, bumping into walls, etc.).

What do I need before I attend my capture session?

  1. List of actions to capture:
    1. Please use the Motion Capture Script form to list the motions needed for each actor. Break down your motions into manageable parts to facilitate easier cleaning of the data.
    2. Rehearse the actions to make sure that the sequence is exactly what you need. You may do one variation on each sequence, due to time constraints.
  2. Find actors suitable for the body type or gender of your character. Men and women move differently and have skeletal differences, as do people of different body sizes. You will not get believable results by using female motion data on male characters, or vis a versa.
  3. Actors must have an Actor photo taken no later than the Tuesday before the session, to allow time to create the Actor file! Please do not wear black clothing or socks when having the actor photo taken. You will need to arrange to have the actor photos taken once you confirm actors. This only has to be done once for each type of shoes the actor will be wearing, or if body size or shape changes dramatically.
  4. Session Clothing: Actors should wear a short-sleeved T-shirt, and close fitting shorts or leggings, along with the type of shoe to be worn by the character. Stay away from bulky clothing, as it will not fit into the suit, and will cause clothing artifacts (gyro-shift). No bare feet allowed.
  5. Bring media to hold your data. USB drives are fine. The capture data files are small. We will archive your Actor files, in case you wish to capture again.

Session schedule:

  1. Go over scripts and capture schedule. All actors must be present and ready to capture before we can begin, as there will be little time to go over any missed information.
  2. Suit up first actor. It should take 10-15 minutes to get into and configure the suit. All sequences requiring this actor will be captured at this time.
  3. Load actor file, and test suit.
  4. Capture sequences for the actor.
  5. Repeat for second actor.
  6. Clean up capture data for simple sequences. Longer or more complex sequences will be emailed when ready (no later than 5:00 pm the following Tuesday). ChiuShui’s class will be getting raw data.

When will my capture data be ready to be picked up?

Motion capture data must be cleaned in order to be useful. Depending on the simplicity of the individual sequences, your data may be ready by the end of the same day. More complex sequences will require more time to clean. If your class requires you to clean your own data, you will be able to get your copy at the end of your session.