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In addition to the Mega Man Legends 3 table, I also came across the Reallusion booth at this past weekend's NYCC. I last saw its VP of Product Marketing, John C Martin, at a machinima film festival, where he was touting the virtues of his company's easy to use/low cost solution for motion capture on the cheap.

I forget where iClone was at in 2008, but two weeks ago saw the launch of version 5, which is "the first real time motion capture technology to incorporate the Kinect." It's for both enthusiasts who dabble in homebrew CG and animation professionals, primarily as a tool to do quick and dirty pre-visuals.

The entire process is fairly straightforward. With a PC running the software and a Kinect attached, it takes a few seconds to calibrate by scanning the subject (the same amount of time as your average Kinect game). Afterward, all motions are recorded by iClone, which can be tweaked later on. That's pretty much it.

The demonstration I saw had the rendered model reacting to the movement of the actor's motion, again in real time. Quite impressive. I also discovered that the Kinect functionality was developed with the help of PrimeSense, the company behind the hardware itself.

iClone 5 retails for $199, with Kinect functionality costing an additional $99, in the form of a plug-in. Otherwise, any conventional web cam can be used. So is there an advantage of using a Kinect? Yes, because it allows for greater gestural motion, which saves time in the end, as it pertains to touching up.

I was reminded of something similar, iPi Soft's use of the PlayStation Eye for the same thing. Which Reallusion also worked on. But the key difference is how each frame of animation on that end has to rendered, whereas here it's... once again.... in real time.

Those interested in learning more can simply head to Reallusion's homepage. Special thanks to Emi Spicer for the picture above.