It's out with spandex and in with motion controllers as a Dutch developer brings motion capture to the masses.
Jasper Brekelmans, a software designer who works for a company in Amsterdam that specializes in motion-capture and character animation, has converted a Kinect sensor into a cheap, but effective mo-cap rig.
Brekelmans' tool actually comes in multiple parts. The base program takes an image from the sensor and turns it into a 3D point could, which is effectively a three-dimensional map of the area. Using this information, the NITE middleware - created by PrimeSense, who also made the 3D sensor technology in Kinect itself - generates a 3D skeleton, and then streams it via a custom build plug-in to the Motion Builder animation software.
Brekelmans said that his tool is very much in the alpha stage, and is essentially just a proof of concept at the moment, but added that if a lot of people showed interest in it, he'd consider putting it on his blog. If Brekelmans does release it, it could be quite the boon for smaller or independent developers and animators, as motion capture can be prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Obviously, the results won't be of the same standard as the proper equipment, but it will be still be a big step up for people who previously couldn't use mo-cap at all.