They called it ‘motion matching.’
At GDC today, Ubisoft introduced a new technique that they call motion matching, a paradigm shift in motion capture and animation that they think will introduce the next generation of animation. At their panel called “Motion Matching and The Road to Next-Gen Animation” (attended by DualShockers), Ubisoft Montreal Animation Programmer Simon Clavet discussed what Motion Matching could do for motion capture.
The concept, he says, has been around for a while now, though it was not possible before the current generation of consoles. It should be able to cut down on the total work that goes into motion capture, by reducing the extraneous number of individual cycles of capturing that the process currently necessitates. The process begins by determining some criteria for the character, such as momentum, velocity, and trajectory, calculated across the entire range of movement.
This should be able to give animators the exact range of motion that needs to be captured- editing data gives a full range of motion that can be captured, and even edited in, also adding to realism and responsiveness of the motion. Minimum preliminary setup is necessary. The technique also gives maximum frame priority to player inputs.
It sounds like a technique that could gain a lot of traction, especially as cinematic games and storytelling in video games continue to get more and more popular. Maybe the next Assassin’s Creed game will be the first Ubisoft game to showcase this technique?