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Curious Pictures Purchases 16-Camera VICON MX Mocap System

VICON MX 40 cameras to be used for commercial and television direction and production (May 09, 2005)

VICON, developer of Academy Award-winning motion capture technology, announced today that Curious Pictures in New York has purchased a top-of-the-line 16-camera VICON MX 40 motion capture system. The landmark sale marks the first sale of VICON motion capture to the New York television and commercial production market, and underscores the recent advancements in VICON's real-time technology to meet the fast creative pace and turnaround of creating and directing motion capture animation for broadcast.

Curious Pictures has already used the VICON system on three commercials, producing performances for brands such as AOL and Imodium that would have been extremely difficult and time consuming to accomplish via key frame animation methods. Moreover, VICON's real-time facial and full-body capture capabilities are giving Curious Pictures' clients the opportunity to direct animation and make creative decisions on the fly on the day of the shoot.

"Real-time animation with our clients has traditionally been the realm of smoke and mirrors," said Lewis Kofsky, Director of CG/VFX, Curious Pictures. "Now, for the first time, we do not need time-consuming calibrations and configurations and are able to capture facial and body performance at the same time. We have been following motion capture technology for years and the VICON MX 40 system is miles ahead of previous generations. Instead of a large support team, we can finally put our directors and animators on stage and have them work directly with talent."

"VICON MX 40 cameras deliver four million-pixel accuracy and the level of performance, throughput and streamlined setup that makes motion capture first unit and stage friendly," said Tom Armbruster, VICON, who worked closely with Curious on the install. "The amazing work of our customers on film projects like The Polar Express and Van Helsing has helped drive these new breakthroughs, moving us rapidly to develop capabilities to meet specific industry needs. We are thrilled to have Curious Pictures offering VICON motion capture in real time to the commercial and television community in New York."

In addition to adding creative benefits, use of VICON at Curious Pictures will make the CG animation process more viable for the television production environment, allowing the company to produce many more takes of animation data via motion capture than would be possible through hours of traditional key frame. Kofsky says the VICON system has also opened the door to long-form CGI production as well.

"We are currently producing several long-form programs in cel animation and mixed media, and bringing motion capture capabilities to our studio with VICON has enabled us to start production on our first feature-length CG film. With VICON MX, VICON has provided a total solution from capture straight into one of our animation packages. We are excited about being the only place in Manhattan and one of a few studios in the country that can produce VICON motion capture projects from concept to final image under one roof."

Curious Pictures is the largest animation studio in New York and the home to award-winning creators of animated television series, television commercials and celebrated characters in picture books and television. Curious produces acclaimed hit TV shows, such as Codename: Kids Next Door and produced Sheep in the Big City for Cartoon Network, A Little Curious for HBO and Avenue Amy for Oxygen Network. Curious directors have tallied two Academy Award nominations, 18 Emmy Awards, two Caldecott Honors and four commercials in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Curious has recently created successful branded entertainment for Mattel and AOL as well as commercials for American Express, Coke, Pepsi, Target, Steve Madden, Burger King, Hummer, and hundreds of other companies. The roster of award-winning, live-action and animation directors includes Eric Fogel, Stefan Nadelman, Steve Oakes, Joan Raspo, Saul and Elliot, Tom Warburton and Mo Willems. Curious Pictures was founded in 1993,by partners Susan Holden, Steve Oakes, David Starr, and Richard Winkler.

VICON and its sister companies 2d3 and House of Moves contribute via their products and services to a wide range of television and film productions involving visual effects. Technologies developed by VICON continue to enable ground-breaking creative firsts, such as last-year's performance capture feature The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks. VICON received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in February 2005.

VICON's next-generation VICON MX real-time optical motion capture systems provide ultra-high-resolution, virtually artifact-free capture with VICON MX40, the world's first four-million-pixel motion capture camera. VICON MX revolutionizes the quality, flexibility and ease with which motion capture data can be applied to real-time and off-line applications in film, television, video games, virtual prototyping, biomechanical analysis and more.

About Vicon
Vicon Motion Systems is a subsidiary of OMG plc (LSE: OMG) with global headquarters in Oxford, UK, and US headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. OMG subsidiary 2d3 Ltd. produces innovative visual geometry software deriving 3D data from moving images. Since 1984, Vicon has been providing professionals with the latest tools to accurately capture the subtleties of three-dimensional human motion for research, medicine, sport, engineering, game development, broadcast and film.

For more information about Vicon, or to view a comprehensive list of worldwide distributors, visit or contact +44 (0) 1865-261800 in the UK or (949) 472-9140 in the US.


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Related Keywords:VICON, VICON MX, MX 40, motion capture, Curious Pictures, motion capture animation, VFX, CG, 2d3, House of Moves,


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