As the largest producer of games, animation and visual effects in Iran, Raymon Media Company has a reputation for providing integrated, high-quality services to game developers and filmmakers. Located in eastern Tehran, the studio sits in the creative capital of the country, an area that is quickly becoming known throughout the Middle East for producing some of the most state-of-the-art animations. And with the VFX industry in the region expanding at an exponential pace and bringing increased competition with it, Raymon Media needed to be ahead of the curve to stay on top.
Raymon Media occupies a 4,000-square-meter facility with capacity for around 250 animators. It prides itself on identifying and supporting young creatives within the industry, and to attract and retain the rising talent throughout the area, it needed to stand out. Although animation is still a relatively new industry in Iran, Raymon Media elected to invest in up-to-date technology in order to ensure that it can offer high-quality content that rivals the best studios around the world.
“It was important for us to broaden our offering and adopt new techniques to create realistic, natural and lifelike movements, especially as we look to take on more high-profile projects in the future,” said Ali Nemati, Head of the Motion Capture Studio at Raymon Media.
Before adopting a mocap system, the animators at Raymon Media created characters using computerized 3D animations. The process is effective and common throughout the VFX industry, but the team often found it challenging to create human characters that looked and moved with a high degree of realism.
With the development of a game called Javanmardan in the pipeline, the company recognized that it needed to take its character animation to the next level.
Raymon Media set its sights on creating a large, 154-square-meter mocap volume. But as the team had no prior mocap experience, it was vital that they received the right advice to help them to create and maximize the best capture volume for their requirements. After looking at all the options, Raymon turned to Vicon.
“We looked at a couple of other systems as well as Vicon, but two factors really stood out to us when making that final decision,” said Nemati. “First, there was a significant level of support offered to us by Vicon’s local distributor ASG Co. Having a presence on the ground was very important and certainly helped during the procurement process – especially the reassurance of support once the system was installed. The second factor was the superior quality of the Vicon system and software.”
Raymon Media chose Vicon Vantage cameras, investing in a 24-camera Vantage 16 system. At 16 megapixels, the Vantage is the world’s most powerful mocap camera, able to deliver the high-quality data and tracking capabilities that Raymon Media needed, along with speeds of up to 120 fps. Powerful analytics and intelligent system updates also came as standard, ensuring optimum performance during capture sessions.
“After testing the Vantage system, it became clear just how accurate the tracking data was. Additionally, Vicon’s Blade software allows us to easily create and overlay images onto CG environments,” explains Nemati. “The system has provided us with high-quality results within a reasonably short amount of time.”
Raymon Media’s newly installed Vantage system is now part of the largest mocap studio in the Middle East, enabling the organization to enhance the realism of its animations and shave hours off post-production.
Calibrating the Future
The studio is capable of full-performance, full-body capture of up to seven people simultaneously, giving Raymon Media a flexible and high-quality solution. The consultation process with Vicon’s sole Iranian distributor ensured that the new studio fulfilled all of Raymon Media’s requirements – from using the full potential of the space to providing robust and reliable data by integrating Vicon’s Blade data-processing and capture tool.
“For us, the challenge was guaranteeing a high-quality, full-performance capture rig for our studio space,” Nemati adds “The Vicon team used their knowledge and expertise to design the space and deliver a system that’s easy to use. They familiarized us with the whole motion capture process, teaching us how to set up the system, position and calibrate the cameras, capture the data using Vicon’s Blade software, and integrate it to create a seamless pipeline with our existing CG software. It’s been a great investment.”