Aviation Virtual - Motion Capture for Sports Analysis
When most people think of motion capture, they think of movies like Planet of the Apes or games like The Last of Us. There’s a whole myriad of uses for mocap though, and Smartsuit Pro user Aviation Virtual shows us some of the exciting possibilities! The interview above features Bon Teh, AV’s Technology Manager, as he walked us through one of their current projects that’s using mocap for sports analysis.
“We are working on developing a training assessment solution for the sports industry, by comparing the actions of trainees against world-class athletes of that sport,” Bon tells us. The current training they’re working on is Silat, a Southeast Asian martial art with hundreds of styles. Precision in form and timing is critical for Silat: in the individual category, the competitor has to perform a fixed set of action sequences within a given time; for the team category, the competing trio has to perform the action sequence perfectly in sync with each other.
Bon’s team uses the Smartsuit Pro to record “gold-standard” athletes and load the data into their application. Next, they get a trainee to wear the Smartsuit Pro and perform the same set of actions. Bon describes the process in detail, “We compare and match the limb position, angle and speed for the two, and generate a detailed accuracy report. From this, coaches and trainees can identify specific areas that the trainee should improve on to match the ‘gold-standard’. For example, lifting the right leg higher when kicking, or turning the left shoulder more quickly.”
“The Smartsuit Pro has greatly improved our workflow,” Bon continues. “Previously, we relied on hard-coding to determine the correct position of limbs for the ‘gold-standard’ based off videos, which lacked accuracy. Likewise, with creating our library of avatars, we had to manually and painstakingly rig the different actions, which was highly time-consuming. With the suit, we can now easily and accurately record the required actions.”
This matching process can also be done in real-time, with two trainees wearing the suits – one designated as the leader and the other the follower. Aviation Virtual’s setup can even support all 3 athletes in a trio together. They plan to expand the use of this application to other performance-based sports such as Taekwondo, Judo, Karate, etc.
"The Smartsuit Pro has greatly improved our workflow."
Sports Analysis is not all they do with motion capture at Aviation Virtual. The company also provides fully immersive virtual experiences for visualizations and training programs. They developed the first complete 3D Immersive VR Aviation Maintenance Training application, which demonstrated how VR training can be faster and more effective than traditional methods. They also provide architectural visualization, using VR and mocap for space planning and crowd simulation. Bon and the Aviation Virtual team are based in Singapore, and invite interested parties to contact them for a visit! You can also follow their updates on Facebook and Youtube.