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5 minutes with Brian Mitchell, Managing Director at Audiomotion Studios

Tell us a little about Audiomotion

Audiomotion is a VFX facility that specializes in motion capture and provides character animation for video games, VR, film and TV. The company was established in 1997 and is based just outside of Oxford in the U.K. Our facility is equipped with three stages, which are all kitted out with the latest Vicon Vantage V16 motion capture cameras. Audiomotion has worked on many AAA game titles and feature films, such as GladiatorWorld War ZMaleficent and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. For film series like Narnia and Harry Potter, we’ve provided the movement for the centaurs, minotaurs, fauns and elves you see on screen.

We’ve had the good fortune to work with some brilliant clients, directors, actors and sports stars over the years. Some of the more well-known being Steven Spielberg, John Boyega, Andy Serkis and Liam Neeson.

We’ve also worked with musicians like the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am and Take That, as well as traveling to various locations to capture sportsmen like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and Rory McIlroy. We’ve even managed to squeeze a full F1 pit crew into the studio. Although not every day includes a star-studded cast, we’ve also had some more unusual requests, and chariots pulled by horses, dogs and cats have all been captured too.

What made you set up Audiomotion?

Audiomotion was originally set up to supply both audio and motion captured animation to a small group of game developers who saw the potential of the technology. Little did they know how it would evolve into what we see today.

Vicon cameras have been installed at Audiomotion since its very beginning. What sets them apart from other motion capture systems on the market?

We have worked with several generations of Vicon cameras and software over the years, and have seen the progression and innovation delivered by Vicon. We review the market and test other suppliers when we upgrade the studio, and we have always found Vicon to be the most accurate and reliable product available on the market at the time.

This year marks 20 years of Audiomotion – congrats! What’s the key to your success?

The key to our success is down to the knowledge, experience and the understanding we have gained over time, along with our skilled team. Our relaxed, yet professional approach allows us to integrate creative arts and performance with some very precise technology. Our focus is to provide actors the freedom they need, while we capture every nuance of their performance.

How has motion capture changed over the last decade and how have you responded to those changes?

One of the biggest changes has been the ability to live stream actors’ performances directly into game engines. This means we can broadcast the performance in real time for the directors, allowing them to walk around the virtual world, seeing the actor as the CG character in real time. Actors can see themselves as the CG character within the virtual environment like a mirror, which enables them to develop their performance and truly bring the character to life.

What upcoming Audiomotion projects are you most excited about?

We have two major feature films coming out in the next six months, but as always, we’re not able to talk about them just yet. Both will be a high point for the company and crew. We’ll have the popcorn at the ready!

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