SA’s 1st Raptor-4


Johannesburg-based Flying Circus recently acquired South Africa’s first Raptor-4
Motion Capture Rig from MotionAnalysis Corporation. This system is similar to
that used in The Amazing Spider-Man, Tin Tin, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and

Mulitiple captures of full bodies and faces concurrent with real time feedback has
been impossible until now, according to Flying Circus CEO Ronald Henry.
He continues: “The Raptor-4 system is particularly suited to animated films,
effects-heavy stunt films, commercials and films with computer generated
characters, animated TV series and video games.

“A while ago we were discussing the proliferation of 3D, specifically the madness
and hype around 3D TVs. Part of the discussion was that despite any initial
skepticism, you couldn’t get away from the fact that the idea of consuming
content in 3D was here to stay, even if the amount of available content was very
limited at the time.

“So, we started wondering if there was a gap to service the 3D content creation
industry, pretty much in the same way a traditional facility house would service
something niche like film transfers, etc. We realised that virtual production is
becoming a more and more commonly used term for the process of marrying
traditional filmmaking techniques with completely digitally made content and
significantly, that motion capture lay at the centre of this.’

Flying Circus technical director Martin Heigan notes that the Raptor-4 is the
latest generation Motion Capture Rig.

“With 40 high-resolution cameras we are able to capture multiple characters
with an accuracy of less than .3 mm in a large studio. The accuracy is so
impressive that face captures can be done simultaneously without the need of a
dedicated facial capture set-up,’ explains Heigan.

The interest shown by local agencies and production companies has been
overwhelming, says Flying Circus producer Andre van der Merwe.
“Everyone who visits the facility for a demo of the system is amazed and wants
to return for another viewing. Even though motion capture is relatively “old’
technology it is still very new for most local filmmakers.

“We are currently involved in the development of a local feature film that will use
Raptor-4, as well as in numerous pitches for commercial projects with very
specific character animation,’ concludes Van der Merwe.


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