All about hardware, CGI or not - doesn't matter.
Noitom is a company who specialize in affordable inertial motion capture devices and software, specifically their own line of MoCap systems called Perception Neuron.
Yesterday I finally received my Perception Neuron Lite kit which is a promotional 6-neuron system for those who want to interact with 3D objects in a virtual reality headset or are just looking to try out Perception Neuron before investing into a 18- or 32-neuron kits. I was interested in Noitom tech since the first days they started their Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, so it's only natural I jumped the bandwagon as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
This is what arrived with the order and what I'll briefly review:
It's important to remember that this is an inertial MoCap system, which means it comes with extremely sensitive sensors which only work in a relatively magnetically safe environment. They are so sensitive in fact, that they come in a special anti-mag container. After use they should always reside inside to make sure they don't magnetize which would render them useless.
Having said that I must admit that I had no issues whatsoever using them even in close proximity to a monitor screen, PC and even my Wi-Fi router. There's also a crazy amount of Wi-Fi networks available all around the apartment so all I can say is – the system worked like a charm even in such non-perfect conditions which was a very pleasant surprise!
Setting the whole thing up was quite intuitive, although I found the manual quite lacking in detail on how to assemble the cables and put it all together. Just a Quick Start Guide and you're kind of on your own.
This particular kit doesn't come with a standard glove but rather some sort of a Velcro strap you wrap around your wrist whilst securing it with your thumb. In fact all non-electric elements or connectors have Velcro strips for placing on top of the base elements.
There's also a semi-interactive manual provided with the Axis Neuron software, but it mostly explains how the system works. Axis Neuron is a specialized app by Noitom designed to record and playback the MoCap data from the Perception Neuron system and it works quite well!
There are two editions: Standard and Pro, the latter costing about 700$ but (in theory) available for free for all Perception Neuron owners. I've contacted support on how to obtain access to the Pro version since it has all bells and whistles including motion smoothing, contact editing and other tools the Standard version is lacking.
UPDATE: Noitom support team replied the very next day with the info on how to receive my copy of Axis Neuron Pro, so now I'm a happy Pro user. Thank you, guys!
After quick set-up and calibration I was actually able to produce a descent take. Here's the raw recording without any smoothing or filtering to showcase what PN is capable of:
All in all, I can definetely say that the system works and can process even relatively fast motion. It will surely come in handy when the time comes to animate the characters in the film, so my next purchase from Noitom will be the 32-neuron full-body MoCap set. Can't wait!
I'm sorry, I just have to share this =)
Oh, Apple, you never fail to amuse!
Out of curiosity decided to quickly compare the cost and rendering performance of several CUDA-capable GPUs.
Scores taken from the official OctaneBench results database. Prices - from local online merchants in my area (TAX, VAT included) so your mileage may vary. I used my GTX 970 results as reference. The fact that it's one of the most popular enthusiast-grade GPUs on the market also helps.
I didn't account for the power consumption because electricity rates vary a lot from area to area so if you're planning to run your render farm 24/7 (which is not recommended) you can look into it yourself.
(Used) NVIDIA GTX 780 Ti is a clear winner here. So if you're thinking about building a render farm to use with Octane or Redshift, check it out, it's a bargain.
As soon as GTX 1080 CUDA-compute/rendering results become available I will add them to the chart. Don't expect a miracle though. Preliminary benchmark results from various forums including Redshift and Lexmark show that GTX 1080 is pretty much just a tad faster than 980 Ti and Titan, and in some heavy scenes it can actually be slower than the two! Hope it's just a driver problem and we'll see at least 20-25% improvement over the previous flagship models as promised by NVIDIA.
Otherwise it will be a grave disappointment.