On December 9, 2015, award-winning director, animator and designer Shane Acker visited USC’s School of Dramatic Arts to offer a three-hour masterclass in Acting for Performance Capture.
Using a sophisticated system of cameras and a tightly defined playing space, Acker and his assistants collected the animation data based on the movement improvisations of SDA’s graduate acting students (some choreographed by Adjunct Faculty instructor Edgar Landa). The data was mapped to a 3D model on a computer and after a process of rendering, the computer generated model performed the identical actions on screen to the actor’s movements in the flesh.
Interim Dean and Director of the MFA in Acting program David Bridel facilitated the event. “Providing opportunities for actors to explore the intersection between their creative skills and current industry technologies is a vital part of the development of our curricula and the culture of our School,” Bridel noted. “Experience with Performance Capture offers actors the chance to work in gaming, animation, and robotics and to connect with a vital new direction in film-making.”