Category Archives: MOCAP

Becoming l33t?

Immediate thoughts:

A. I’ve played waaaay too much MineCraft these few weeks. MineCrift is going up the TOTRY list… I have to get a video of G freestyle rapping as she plays…

B. I am super excited about Oculus Rift with Android… or with a Mini TV Stick… (see link below)

Wowsers it’s been busy again! Big time respect to games developers. There is soooooo much to cover if you want to make a 3D game. So how much does it take to get good at something like game making??

(Skip to the bottom if you just want a list of interesting Virtual Reality/Oculus Rift related links I found :))

I recently bought a box of granola from Tesco called “10K”. The marketing spiel on it was so douchebag-like that I just had to buy it. Unfortunately, I ate it and recycled the box before remembering to take a picture of it to share. It’s basically regular granola with caffeine. Check site here if you want to know what I mean. It’s cheeseball central. The premise is that you eat their cereal to become amazing at whatever you want since it will buy you extra hours. The idea of only considering the hours required to become “l33t” sparked some interesting thought experiment discussions with my other half. I could write a very long posting on this topic, but the caffeine is wearing out so I will not…

Moving on… I’ve taken a strategic decision to sharpen my 3D Blender skills rather than go with Maya. Maya is an AutoDesk product that costs almost ¬£4000 (!) whereas Blender is… wait for it… free! I used both products about a year ago and preferred Maya at that point. However, after looking at Blender again now I’ve concluded that it can now do more than what I need. Either the open source community made some significant breakthroughs or the support around the product has grown – I am not sure, but it just feels right. Below are some YouTube channels I recommend you check out if you want to evaluate Blender for yourself:

VScorpianC -> Very clear style, friendly, patient -> Great for anybody new to Blender and just wants to see what it can do. She also has an extensive range of videos. Probably my favourite Blender channel at the moment.

BlenderCookie -> Lots and lots of vids…

Andrew Price -> Long detailed tutorials to get pro results! Rar!

Interesting Links

1. vorpX -> Another utility to make your old games work with Oculus Rift

2. Android on Oculus Rift? Plug in my phone? Plug in my Android Mini TV Stick???

3. If you haven’t seen the MTBS rollercoaster demo videos… you have to check them out:

More roller coaster action with this KickStarter too if you are interested: Theme Park Studio

4. Check out this channel if you are interested in motion capture for body/face and UDK. It’s rough and ready, but I find it useful to see things that are rough round the edges.

5. A London Meetup group for Oculus has begun in earnest ūüôā

7. And of course, Virtuix Omni finally went for their KickStarter -> And they’ve absolutely nailed it! Well done ūüôā

I leave you with words of wisdom from the back of a 10K cereal packet:

“20 hours a week. 1000 hours a year. For 10 years. 10,000 hours is the level of practice required for you to become elite in your chosen field.”

I love easy to remember numbers…

Virtual Reality Round Up Mid-May

So much going on in the world of Virtual Reality and Oculus Rift as usual!  So I added the new hardware buying page and am going to write about 2 things today:

A.  Articles/Posts/Videos that have interested me

B.  Game creation related stuff

A.  Articles/Posts/Videos that have interested me

 A1.  Tactile Feedback

3D Gun

The general interest in guns in the gaming world (follow link for example) and the extra momentary news value of 3D gun from Defense Distributed has led to me putting up a picture of a gun Рyes, I thought this would grab your attention, but the point I would like to make is that with Virtual Reality you may not really see what you are holding, but you will be able to feel it and perhaps see a representation through your goggles   Dumb 3D printed objects we can touch in reality could magically come to life within the virtual world.  So, perhaps I could 3D print a cube with the tactile feel, stick on an augmented reality marker so that my webcam can track it and then when I pick up the cube in my virtual world, I pick it up the real world as well?  I want to keep this blog as non-commercial as possible, but the merchandising opportunities would be obvious.  See a Hellraiser cube whilst really holding a Rubiks Cube?


A2. ¬†Minecraft… I mean Minecrift…


Yes, happening as expected.  See this clip of somebody check it out the mod.  Download it here if you want to give it a go!

A3 Position Tracking

My ongoing interest with position tracking.  Everybody has heard about Leap Motion, but is Oculus going to do something with them?  Check out end of this video.  Did you know Microsoft had something called Digits??  Strap a couple of these on your wrist for fine grained tracking and then with an XBox Kinect for course grain tracking?

Not flogging a dead horse or anything, but for anybody else who was wondering whether or not you could use the magnetometer in the Oculus Rift in conjunction with a Razer Hydra base station for head position tracking – check out the Oculus VR forum.

Also on my TOTRY list is position tracking using augmented reality and markers… note to self… read more about ARToolKit!

A4 Motion Capture

I¬†realize¬†this is actually related to A3, but what the hell, I am into this whole tracking thing right now and want to get all the links I found in one place… check out this older, but still very cool tech from Yost Engineering:

If your pockets are not so deep then check out Brekel’s free MoCap software¬†or Ipi Soft (yes… unfortunate name…). ¬†I have not tried any of these yet, but on my TOTRY list for sure…

A5 Shipping Update

Palmer Luckey gave some indication of current developer kit shipping forecasts via Reddit. ¬†Looks like mid June for me then… check out RoadToVR article for predicted shipping table.

A6 Half Life 2 Beta

Another note to self… TOTRY Half Life 2

B.  Game creation related items

  1. Decided on the type of game we wanted to create -> Something hugely immersive and something that will play to the strength of the Oculus Rift.
  2. Agreed on a premise – yes, there is a story ūüôā
  3. Discussed the look/feel/emotions we want to bring to the audience of 1 (not considering multi right now)
  4. Assessed the size of task – broke down game into 3 major “Acts”

Not sure if I am doing this the “right way” as I have no experience in making a “proper game”. ¬†Made something like Pac Man in Java once, but nothing more than that! ¬†It looks like there are 2 major streams of work:

Artistry -> Write story/Concept Art/Mood Boards/Color Themes/Music/Audio

Technical -> Establish Technical Asset Pipeline/Test Pipeline/Asset Integration Activities

It’s becoming clear that the job of creating in game assets (3D, in particular) is going to be a huge task. ¬†I have lowered my UDK cramming effort and began a parallel activity of 3D packages re-familiarization (I had a brief play about a year ago). ¬†Here’s a basic pipeline test for 3D assets I tried out (the Kinect element made it more interesting and I want to get familiar with the related tools):

Useful link: Kinect Fusion (

I also finally managed to get some time to try out the Razer Hydra I bought ages ago. ¬†I have a video for this too, but don’t have time to edit it today. ¬†Will include in next post.


Boom Tag







Not Oculus, but definitely VR! ¬†No treadmills, no joysticks, no ties… just run around in a massive room… ¬†Where can I try this?? ¬†The only thing that I can think of which seems like it may be similar is paintballing! ¬†Looks like they are using professional motion capture technology used in the film industry like this¬†MOCAP one¬†(3000 EUROS a month?)¬†married with headsets? ¬†Here’s their Facebook page.

3 videos below:

1. ¬†See what it’s all about

2.  Talk about the vision

3. ¬†Demo to show how accessible this technology could be…

1. ¬†See what it’s all about

2.  Talk about the vision

3. ¬†Demo to show how accessible this technology could be…