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Learn everything you need to know about MocapX​

What is MocapX?

MocapX is a facial motion capture solution for Autodesk Maya. MocapX app uses iPhone/iPad Face ID technology to capture facial expressions, head movements and eye tracking and seamlessly transfer them to Maya. The data are streamed into any Maya rig or character via blendshapes. MocapX allows animators to work easily with motion capture and achieve better results. 

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What hardware do I need?

You need iPhone/iPad with Face ID technology and Autodesk Maya to work with the animation data. Click here to see a full list of hardware requirements.

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Installation​

MocapX is available on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Version of Maya starts at 2016 and continue all the way to Maya 2019. Click here to for more information about installation.

How MocapX works?

MocapX app recognizes and tracks facial expressions, head and eye movements and in real-time can preview or stream the data into Maya. In a live preview you are able to see a 3D model with tracked expressions. MocapX app allows you to either stream data directly to Maya or record them locally to your phone for later use. 

While streaming to Maya you are also previewing the data inside Maya. In general, you can see your performance on a Maya rig with controllers or on models with blendshape (or the combination of these two)

Motion capture data are recorded into MocapX format (mcpx file) and can be used later in Maya.

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Streaming and Recording

Open the MocapX app, go to Streaming tab (second on the bottom navigation). Now you need to connect iPhone with your computer. You can use either USB or Wifi. 

 Connection over USB

Simply connect your phone via USB or USB-C cable. Make sure that your computer recognizes your iPhone/iPad. Run Autodesk Maya and create Realtime Device (MocapX shelf). Under Real Time Device you will find a connect button. Select USB and click connect. The app shows a green pulsing line that indicates the streaming data in the computer.

 

*Windows users need to have iTunes installed. More information here.

 Connection over Wifi

Make sure that your iPhone/iPad is connected to the same network as your computer. Run Autodesk Maya and create a Realtime Device (MocapX shelf). Under the Real Time Device you will find a connect button. Select Wifi and fill the IP address that is shown in MocapX app in the right corner. Now you can click connect. The app shows a green pulsing line that indicates the streaming data in the computer.

Preview data on 3d model

To preview the data on 3D face, you can use a rig or a model with blendshape. For a quick start you can use our demo character or skip to the section with explanations of setting up your own character. 

Recording

While streaming you can at any time record a data to file. Data are stored in MocapX format  (mcpx file) and can be loaded with Clip Reader. 

Recording in Maya works in a way that once you start your connection (USB or Wifi) Maya starts storing data to buffer. Then by clicking on a Save Clip you essentially grab a part of this data and save it to a clip. The amount of data or time which you want to save is controlled by seconds. So, for example you start streaming. One minute passes and you click on a Save Clip button with a 30 seconds set. So you’ve just saved the last 30 seconds of data into a clip. Then you can click again on a Save Clip button with 60 seconds and you’ve just saved the last 60 seconds. That means you will have a clip that contains all of your data from the beginning of the recording to the end. 

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Offline recording

With MocapX app you are able to record the data locally to your phone without necessarily streaming them to Maya. Data are stored to the same mcpx file and can be used later in Maya. To transfer the data from your iPhone/iPad to your computer, you can simply use whatever sharing way you want, e.g. email, airdrop, dropbox or plug your phone with USB and then copy the files manually.

Here is a quick tutorial on How to record data and share them to your computer.

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Rig or blendshapes?

MocapX is unique in a way how you can transfer the motion capture data to you Maya rig or to your model with blendshapes. Also any kind of combination of these two is possible. 

Connection to Rig

To connect the MocapX data to your rig you will need to create a Poses (facial expression) with your rig that will be driven by the motion capture data. The process is straightforward as you have to recreate with your rig a pre existing set of facial expressions. Once you are ready you can click on Auto Connect and MocapX will automatically connect your Poses with MocapX data. 

Connection to Blendshapes

To connect the MocapX data to your model with blendshapes you will just need to make a simple direct connection between MocapX Real Time node (or Clip reader) to you blendshape node.

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How to prepare Poses with Maya rig?

PoseBoard is a MocapX editor where you can see a list of all expressions with a visual description. Before you can create your first Pose, you need to add all controllers of a rig into an attribute collection. The attribute collection is a Mocapx node that stores all of the information about your rigs controllers. To start out just simple select all of your facial controllers and click on an icon of attribute collection. Now attribute collection is created.  Next you can create a first Posein PoseBoard editor by clicking on a plus icon. 

PoseLIb editor

PoseLib editor manages all of your poses and allows you to connect the MocapX data to Poses. You can also create, edit and delete the pose in PoseLib editor. 

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How to prepare blendshapes?

Preparing the blend shapes for MocapX is a process of modeling or sculpting your geometry to match the MocapX predefined expression. The visual list of expressions can be seen in a PoseBoard editor or here.

How to work with MocapX data?

Once you capture the motion capture data to a clip, you can start working on polishing the animation. MocapX allows users to animate over MocapX data. You can simply create a keyframe animation with a selected controller. For more information see a tutorial here. 

Another way how you can tweak the animation is to bake the animation first. For this, use our MocapX Bake tool. Then you can work with the data as a standard Maya keyframes. You can do the animation in a graph editor or use animation layers. Also using various filtering methods can quickly speed up the polishing. 

FAQ

Most frequently asked questions and answers

MocapX runs on every iPhone and tablet with iOS 12. Please note that facial tracking is only supported on devices with FaceID. Click here for a full list of hardware features.

Apple’s True depth camera, which is responsible for facial mocap, is exactly the same in iPhone X and 11. 

Yes, of course. The MocapX app and plug-in were created for animators to speed up the animation process. You can use the MocapX plug-in for any commercial and non-comercial projects. If you do anything interesting in MocapX, let us know and we will be happy to share.

Please note that more complicated rigs may decrease real-time performance depending on your computer’s processing power and graphics card. However, MocapX data is captured and saved at a full 60 fps.

Facial tracking in the MocapX app uses Apple’s Face ID technology to capture facial expressions and transfer the data directly to Maya. This is a paid feature in the application and is only available for devices with Face ID capability. Click here for a full list of hardware features.

We support all Maya versions from 2016 to 2019. The operating systems we recommend are Windows 10 with iTunes installed, MacOS HighSierra or later and Linux with Centos 7.4 (wifi connection only).

Generally speaking, yes! You can connect MocapX data directly to your rig controller or use PoseLib to drive multiple controllers on your rig. We provide demos as well as a tutorials and other useful information.

Sliders and joysticks are available in the free version of the MocapX app and allow you to control objects and attributes in real time in Maya. You can record live action sequences and save them as animation clips for later use – for example, you can animate a car or plane just by rotating your iPhone.

The Android version of MocapX is in the works and is coming soon.

Please be aware that for the Android version, you will have to use a device with similar technology to Apple’s True depth camera (Infrared + dot projector).

Google Pixel 4 looks like a good fit for now.

We support only Maya real-time facial motion capture with our Maya plug-in and PoseLib editor. The Unity plug-in for live mocap will come in 2Q 2020 and Unreal connection in late 2020.

With PRO version you can both stream to Maya in real-time and record a clip locally for later use in Maya (the clip length is limited only by available storage on your device). The basic version includes 30 seconds of free local recording and you can buy additional minutes up to 45 minutes. With basic version you are not able to stream facial expression to Maya directly. However you can test the connection with your pc and Maya using keypads and sliders.

History of purchases can be found only in your AppStore account.

Currently no. Your purchase is tied to Apple ID and to device where the purchase was done.

Tutorials

Basic

01/ Getting started with MocapX

Learn how to quickly setup MocapX

02/ Pose library

Learn how to work with pose library

03/ macOS Installation

Learn how to install MocapX on macOS

Advanced

04/ Head connection

Learn how to connect head

05/ Eye connection

Learn how to connect eye

06/ Sample data

Download sample data and project files

Example

07/ Tips and Tricks

Learn how to quickly generate poses

08/ Advanced Skeleton

Using Advanced Skeleton With MocapX

Get the MocapX App and Plug-in

Download MocapX – it’s free

MocapX App

Free

  • Realtime facial capture
  • Head movevment & Eye tracking
  • Multi device support
  • Recording facial data to clips
  • Keypad animation feature
  • Wifi and USB support
  • Works with iOS 12

Works with iOS 12

MocapX Plug-in

Free

  • Realtime facial capture
  • Non destructive workflow
  • PoseLib editor
  • Recording facial data to clips
  • Baked and baked to rig controls
  • Win/Mac/Linux support
  • Maya 2016, 2017, 2018

Windows 10, MacOS 10.12, Linux CentOS 7

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