Eric Jacobus (God of War, Mafia III) is taking what he’s learned from his work as a motion capture performer in triple-A videogame titles and applying it to the indie film and game development world. Only days after utilizing motion capture to embody an Omen of Sorrow character for a live stunt show at Santiago’s FestiGame, Jacobus used the same Xsens marker-less motion capture system to record himself kicking as a robot in a 3D environment. Normally a fight scene requires at least two performers, but Jacobus took it upon himself to record both sides of the fight scene. He then created a 3D geography within Unity and played the animations against one another, simulating a fight scene between two actors. A small behind-the-scenes look at Jacobus’s process can be seen at the end of the video.
Jacobus says he’s just scratching the surface of what’s possible now that he’s able to easily execute action choreography within a motion capture system.
In light of his performing stunts for Kratos in Sony’s 2018 hit God of War, Eric Jacobus was invited to participate at FestiGame in Santiago, Chile in early August. Jacobus was first asked to give a stunt demonstration and motivational talk, but then he saw the numbers: over 40,000 video game fans from all over Latin America would attend FestiGame, and he had a stage to work with. So he quickly brought together some teams to do something that’s never been done before: a motion capture stunt show starring a live video game character.
Jacobus knew that the right tool for the job would be Xsens MVN, a marker-less motion capture system that utilizes sensors and can be utilized anywhere without the optical cameras one requires in a Vicon or OptiTrack system. He originally saw the Xsens suit at E3 in 2017, and now he knew how to apply it. All he needed was a character to embody in the live show, and he discovered that the upcoming Chilean fighting game Omen of Sorrow would be at FestiGame. The show coordinator contacted AOne Games, and they agreed to let Jacobus use their Dr. Hyde character.
Chris Adamsen of Xsens rigged the Dr. Hyde character in Unity, and using an Xsens plugin streamed Jacobus’s movements in the Xsens suit directly into Unity and manipulate the Dr. Hyde model. The result was a stunt demonstration in which Jacobus brought a video game character to life in front of a live audience. (Video shot by Zac Swartout)
Jacobus plans to bring live motion capture stunt shows to other venues and hopes to portray other video game characters in the near future. If this is of interest for your show or if your video game character is a good fit, perhaps you can both make it happen.
Eric Jacobus is reachable at email@example.com.