Kinect MoCap Animation in After Effects (Original version)
Project files: Click here to download the After Effects project (CS5+).
Quick note: the text is just transcripts of the videos, so you can read or watch as you prefer.
Hello, I’m Victoria Nece. I’m a documentary animator, and today I’m going to show you how to use your Kinect to animate a digital puppet like this one in After Effects.
If you have a Kinect that came with your Xbox, the first thing you’re going to need to do is buy an adapter so you can plug it into your computer’s USB port. You don’t need to get the official Microsoft one — I got a knockoff version from Amazon for six bucks and it’s working just fine.
Next you’re going to need to install a ton of different software. It’s all free and open-source, but I’m warning you now: there’s a lot of it. Check the links below to see what you need for your particular setup.
Here’s a quick overview of how it’s all going to work. Once you’re up and running, you’re going to be using a Processing app called KinectToPin, written by the very talented animator Nick Fox-Gieg. That’s where you actually capture the tracking data, as well as where you convert it to keyframe information After Effects can understand.
Then on the After Effects side of things, you’ll set up a skeletal rig for a layered 2D puppet and apply the tracking data to bring it to life.
It’s not an easy process, but the results are worth it.
- OpenNI + PrimeSense Sensor Module (You need both): http://www.openni.org/Downloads/OpenNIModules.aspx
- OSCeleton: https://github.com/Sensebloom/OSCeleton
- SimpleOpenNI: http://code.google.com/p/simple-openni/
- Processing: http://processing.org/
- KinectToPin: https://github.com/N1ckFG/KinectToPin
- After Effects CS3+ (CS5+ to use tutorial files)
Special Mac note: works in Snow Leopard, may not work in Lion.