George Lucas is generally credited with pushing the envelope in film making technology. Besides computer animation, Lucas helped pioneer the use of motion capture technology. Well if Lucas were going to film Star Wars today he might just be using both open source software and hardware to do so! Chris Church and his partners in Dynamic Perception are making motion capture and time lapse technology available to everyone via open source. Their Open MoCo project not only makes software to run cameras and equipment available under an open source license, but they also publish the specs for the hardware under an open source license as well.
I had a chance to sit down and spend about 20 minutes talking to Chris about the open source motion capture movement, open source hardware and much more. You can listen below:
Chris and company are not the only project around motion capture either. Chris gives credit to the Arduino open source platform for much of the micro-controller functionality that the Dynamic Perception equipment uses. Open MoCo has published the specs for the dollys and hardware both electronic and structural that will let anyone make state-of-the-art video. If you don't want to make it yourself, you can buy it from Dynamic Perception.
Chris started Open MoCo and Dynamic Perception to fuel his own hobby of filming. When he wanted to start using motion capture technology in his film, he was blown away with how expensive the hardware and software was. It was out of the reach of most hobbyists and even some professionals. So again as a hobby, Chris and his partner set about seeing how they could make motion capture available to everyone.
Chris's background in technology had already resulted in him being a big fan of open source software. He was also intrigued by the open source hardware movement. That along with his passion for filming have resulted in a full time endeavor of love for Chris.
So if you think you are the next George Lucas and need the technology to make your dreams and visions come true, check out the open source hardware and software from Dynamic Perception and Open MoCo. Oh, and pay no attention to those droids, now move along.