Intro to LMA
"Hey, that's John striding across the quad! I'd recognize his bold
confident walk anywhere! If we did a Motion Capture of John walking, I
wonder if he would look equally dynamic and powerful in the animation?"
This research team doubts that he would look like himself in an animation
done from motion capture.which is the reason we are proposing this
Every human being has his/her own unique perceivable movement style.
This is what a Laban Movement Analyst would call a "Movement Signature."
A style is composed of repeated recognizable movement elements that can
be notated. These elements in their combinations and phrasing capture
the liveliness of that person's movement-his dynamic expressiveness.
Unfortunately, despite all advances in current Motion Capture
processes, we are not yet able to fully capture this dynamic life-quality of the
"Movement Signature." These limitations show especially in motion
capture based animation. Many important features that convey "life-ness",
weight, personality, idiosyncrasies, and other subtleties, get diminished
or lost in the process. The computer animations lack of those
qualities, and look rather artificial and robotic. This is partly due to too
simple approximate computer representations (kinematic chains,
dynamical models, and other representations mainly motivated by robotics
research), and due to data processing and adaptation techniques, that smooth
or change the motion in a way that important subtleties get lost.
For, instance, John's "confident" walk may be composed of the Laban
Effort Elements of Direct Space Effort, Strong Weight Effort, and Free
Flow (see descriptions of these elements in section 3). Current Motion
Capture techniques would probably be able to capture the Directness, but
would probably not adequately record the Strong Weight Effort (an
important component in the perceived "confidence.") And, depending on where
the sensors are placed and how many are used, the Motion Capture might
also miss the successive fluidity of the Free Flow through the body
parts. The perception of John in the animation might be, "John looks a
little wimpy and stiff in this animation. I wonder if he was having a bad
day when the motion capture was made."
Because human beings are sense-making animals, as this example
demonstrates, the perception of movement dynamics leads inevitably to
interpretation ("Bold, confident" versus "wimpy"), whether the observer is
viewing a movement "live" or in animation. This is why it is so important to
be able to accurately capture not only where the body parts go in space
and how long it takes them to get there (the structural, quantitative
aspects of movement), but also find some way to amplify the qualitative
aspects that seem to get lost or diminished in animation done from