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Digital Bodies: Motion Capture Acting

Motion capture (Mocap) technology has long been used to provide the film and video games industries with digital characters and creatures. The technology allows the digitalization of an actor’s performance, and a subsequent complete transformation of appearance. This kind of metamorphosis offers many creative possibilities, but it also raises many questions on how to act with a body and shape which is fundamentally unfamiliar for the actor. Is the digital body to be considered a new form of digital mask and makeup, or should it more be considered a type of digital puppet, manipulated by the actor? More broadly: does motion capture acting require a new type of acting methodology and training?

This project has two goals. The first goal is to generate new knowledge about motion capture acting, and thus contribute to the artistic research at SKH. We do this by a systematic assessment from a mime and method-acting perspective, letting actors portray digital characters along a varied scale of physiognomies (s.a. height/weight/appearance) and personalities (such as extraversion and neuroticism). The second goal is to provide valuable data and insights for ongoing research on controllable motion synthesis at KTH. This research aims to automatically generate gestures and other non-verbal behaviours for virtual characters and robots, and require large amounts of high quality data. The project will further push this development, giving the characters personality.


Jonas Beskow, KTH, .
Simon Alexanderson, KTH.
Alejandro Bonnet. SKH.
Matthew Allen, SKH.

Belongs to: NAVET
Last changed: Feb 03, 2021