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Motion Capture Studios to Mediapolis?

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12.5.2014 14:50

Mediapolis campus will be ready for companies next autumn. Even during the construction phase it has already been clear that there is a lot of hidden potential in the companies. Potential that is waiting to be unleashed. Here is a story about the Motion Capture studios.

In November 2013 I got a simple question from Salla Aaltonen. She asked “what is this MoCap, since quite many companies are talking about it.” After thoroughly discussing it, we noticed that there could be something here that would be interesting for many companies but is not currently available for them. So we decided to invite all the companies who had mentioned the term ”MoCap” to one meeting. And not only companies, but also researchers from universities.

The first meeting was organized in late November. Already in the first session it became quite evident that this is really something that would fit Mediapolis. There are a few key points behind this thinking:

  1. Motion Capture is technology that is mainly known from games and animation, but it can also be applied to industrial, health and sport sectors
  2. Use of motion capture will increase in the future when digital storytelling and ”gamification” become more common
  3. With the possibility to use motion capture, existing companies in digital industry will be able to increase their business and expand their customer base

All the time the preparation has targeted to a commercially viable motion capture studio. In order to be sustainable in long term, the studio must have a market, established mainly by private companies. In this model the universities and research institutions have an important role. It is to provide cutting edge knowledge and skillful people that create value for the whole digital media ecosystem.

Six months after the initial meeting, two companies has stepped up and are now together looking answers to the question “Could there be a Motion Capture Studio in Mediapolis?”. One is Akun Tehdas. Another one is Apex Games Ltd. ”Even though we are still in the planning phase, there are signals telling that the time is now. And there are customers looking for exactly this kind of studio. Nextsteps, more concrete ones, are just behind the corner. We believe that we will have more to tell during the summer”. Says Mikko Karsisto, CEO of Apex Games.

The preparation for commercial success demands that the design is both cost effective and service oriented. Cost effective does not mean cheap and crappy. It is actually quite the opposite. The target is that there would be a flexible system that could be set up according to customer needs. Ranging from single person motion capture studio up to 500 square studio with enough large volume for capturing many actors at one time. Cameras that are now in consideration are fast, accurate and could be used in outdoors.

Of course the cameras and space themselves are not doing anything. In order to be valuable for the customer there has to be skilled professionals operating the studio and processing the resulting data. Apex Games and Mikko Karsisto have signed up for this job.  Mikko and the team have years of experience in motion capture animation. They have created cross-technology prototypes using MoCap, provided the service for customers and actively used the system in their own game production.

The mocap-case has opened my eyes for three things:

  1. Dreaming big will produce big business opportunities.
  2. 1+1 is more than 2
  3. Sometimes asking one simple question is enough

Text: Jan Kolkkinen, Mediapolis project Manager

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