Scientists develop new motion-capture technology that can ‘digitalize’ dogs

According tomedia New Atlas, motion-capture technology can allow you to smooth the movements of your favorite video game characters, or allow coaches to evaluate the biomechanics of elite athletes. This technique is very powerful, but requires expensive equipment to reproduce the complex movements of the subject digitally. Scientists at the University of Bath have come up with a simpler solution, developing a computer model that can “digitalize” dogs without the need for motion capture suits and a set of surrounding cameras.

Scientists develop new motion-capture technology that can 'digitalize' dogs

“Although there has been a great deal of research on the automatic analysis of human motion without marking, the animal kingdom is often overlooked. Study author Professor Darren Cosker said. “Our research is a step towards building accurate 3D models of animal movements and techniques that allow us to measure their movement very easily. This has many exciting applications in a range of fields — from veterinary science to video games. “

Scientists develop new motion-capture technology that can 'digitalize' dogs

When Cosker and his team developed the technology, they first studied the actions of dogs in a traditional way, putting them on motion-capture suits and photographing their various movements. They studied 14 different dog breeds, from large-scale lepers to small dogs, and collected data that was then used to build new computer models.

The model was designed to predict and replicate the dog’s posture during filming without wearing their motion-capture suit. The team was able to do this by using an RGBD camera to create a digital shape for a new dog, unlike a regular digital camera, which records the distance from the subject in addition to recording each pixel’s red, green and blue colors.

Scientists develop new motion-capture technology that can 'digitalize' dogs

“This is the first time that RGBD images have been used to track a dog’s movement, which is much more affordable than a traditional motion capture system that requires multiple cameras. “Dr. Sin?ad Kearney said. “This technology allows us to study animal movements, which is useful for applications such as detecting dog limping and measuring their recovery over time. For the entertainment industry, our research can help create more realistic virtual animal movements in movies and video games. Pet owners can also use it to make a 3D digital image of their pet on a computer, which is very interesting! “

The team is already expanding the technology to explore its potential to reshape other animals, including horses, cats, lions and gorillas, and hopes to refine modelling as more species are studied.