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House Of Moves Rocks Out For MTV2 "Video Mods"

Motion capture drives game characters in parodies of popular music videos (October 19, 2004)

World-leading motion capture studio House of Moves, a division of VICON Motion Systems, announced it has provided motion capture services for "Video Mods," an MTV2 series where video games meet music videos. Currently airing, the CG-based show uses motion derived from real performers to drive popular game characters as they jam to some of music's hottest videos. Morphing music videos and video games into an entirely new music viewing experience, the next episode of MTV2's "Video Mods" can be seen on Saturday, October 30th at 9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT.

Motion capture sessions were done at House of Moves using the facility's 120x60x24-foot motion capture stage and ultra-accurate VICON motion capture camera array. Singers, instrumentalists and dancers were captured to create a musical band setup and deliver life-like animation for application to characters and environments provided by game publishers such as Electronic Arts, Vivendi Universal Games, Bioware, Majesco and Take Two Interactive.

"'Video Mods' brings together two major elements of the game player's universe: their favorite game titles and their favorite music," said "Video Mods" Executive Producer and Director Tony Shiff. " We take the current and future hit music on MTV2, and we have game characters actually performing the song. The accuracy of House of Moves motion capture made it easy to put popular game personalities in the music video world." Shiff says the project began at House of Moves, which receives production company billing alongside Shiff's Big Bear Entertainment, when it became clear that the same motion capture techniques the studio was using on other projects could be applied for the more on-the-fly production style of music videos. Shiff then completed a motion-capture spec piece to successfully pitch the show.

"With music videos you can be creative but you typically don't have the same time and money as in film or games," Shiff stated. "The House of Moves work allowed us to do this project with what everyone is looking for in motion capture realism. The data we recorded does not just approximate the motion of the professional musicians and actors we cast it is their motion. It was great to be watching the final animated clips with some of the motion-captured band members and see the excitement when they saw authentic musician moves."

"The concept in 'Video Mods' works because you feel like that Need for Speed character is really rocking out on the electric guitar," said House of Moves CEO Tom Tolles. "That's the beauty of motion capture if you motion-capture a real drummer, it's the signature performance of that drummer that is applied to the CG characters. We captured full body as well as facial animation, which made including even close-up renders of the game member bands feasible. The motion capture takes were triggered by SMPTE time code to ensure that the motion data was timed correctly to the audio tracks."

The project involved four days of initial motion capture with VICON MCam2 cameras recording upwards of 600 shots, each one-to-four minutes long. Additional sessions were done for pick-ups using new top-of-the-line VICON MX40s.

"The data coming out of those camera was wonderful," Shiff recalled. "And the sheer volume of motion information we captured for these productions was absolutely huge."

Recent "Video Mods" videos include: Lil' Jon's "Get Low" recreated by the video game Fight Club; Evanescence's "Everybody's Fool" reconstructed by BloodRayne 2; the Fountains of Wayne's hit "Stacey's Mom" featuring the Sims 2; and the Von Bondies video "Cmon Cmon" overhauled by Tribes: Vengeance. Other episodes tackle Black Eyed Peas, New Found Glory, The Darkness, Christina Milian, Ying Yang Twins and The Vines videos and games like SSX 3, Outlaw Golf 2, Jade Empire, Fight Night and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.

About House of Moves
House of Moves provides professional motion capture services, stock 3D data, and custom 3D animation tools for the entertainment industry. With expertise dating back to 1985 and credits ranging from "Titanic" to "Spider-Man 2," House of Moves has completed hundreds of animation projects, including feature films, electronic games, television commercials, broadcast television series and on-line character animation/content for the Web. The company's artists, animators, engineers and programmers work with top Hollywood talent and some of the industry's finest production facilities to help capture and integrate dynamic data in a 3D environment. The world's largest motion capture studio, House of Moves was acquired by leading motion capture developer VICON Motion Systems in 2004. For more information, call 310.306.6131 or visit

About MTV2
Last year was the most watched year in MTV2 history, and Q1 2004 was the highest rated quarter in channel history among both total viewers (P2+) and P12-34. In addition, April 2004 was the highest rated month in channel history among P12-34. Now reaching more than 60 million homes, MTV2 is the 24-hour music network with an emphasis on showcasing new music, breaking artists, and interactivity. MTV2's adventurous programming mix reflects its commitment to providing fans access to the music and artists they love through 24-hours of music videos and a variety of genre music video shows including: hip-hop, rock, and soul.

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, mtvU, VHI, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, MTV INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 12 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

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:House Of Moves, MTV2, Video Mods, Motion capture, game characters, music videos, VICON Motion Systems, CG, Tony Shiff, Big Bear Entertainment, Tom Tolles, animation, facial animation, MCam2, MX40,


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