PUBG STUDIOS is getting incredible results with the USA’s first Valkyrie system.


KRAFTON’s PUBG STUDIOS is used to being an early adopter. The team was at the forefront of the wildly popular battle royale video game genre when they launched PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS in 2017. Its innovative game design has resulted in one of the best-selling video games of all time. Now, the developer is at the leading edge of digital production with one of the most powerful motion capture systems in the world, having recently partnered with Vicon to install the first US-based Valkyrie-powered motion capture stage in its Madison, Wisconsin studio.

PUBG Madison was in talks to buy a Vicon system while Valkyrie was approaching launch, even though at the time very little had been said about the camera publicly. There was a question around whether to purchase a Vantage system or be among the first customers to get the then-unknown Valkyrie cameras. “Ultimately,” says Caleb Zart, Animation Director at PUBG Madison, “making it withstand the test of time and be the greatest system it could be—that was an easy decision for us to make.”

The company bought 26 VK26 cameras, the first Vicon product to push 26 megapixels, establishing the first Valkyrie installation in the US in a purpose-built new studio in Madison, Wisconsin.

One benefit of choosing Valkyrie was apparent before a single camera had been set up. “One of the really nice things about the Valkyrie transition is we were able to get a lot of coverage with fewer cameras,” says Zart. “With the previous generation we were slated for 36 or 40 units. The prospect of going through and focusing all those cameras is obviously significantly more labor-intensive than focusing a simple 26. It’s just less to worry about. Especially with our studio having high ceilings—it means less time up ladders.”

Caitlyn Fifield, Stage Manager for PUBG Madison’s motion capture studio, has found establishing both the setup and her workflow to be a smooth process. “Getting the pipeline set up has been a fun and collaborative process. I worked closely with the tech support who helped with the install, and who also fielded my questions after, to adapt things to our needs even more with each shoot,” she says.

“It was a great experience getting things rolling and starting new pipelines, without old habits that we were happy to get rid of. There’s also much more documentation than I’m used to with other mocap systems, which let me hit the ground running before we even received the cameras. And the first few captures went smoothly. It was really exciting doing those first couple of shoots.”

Zart says that the new setup immediately began sparking creativity in the studio. “We’ve just started playing around, throwing new assets into the shoots,” he says. “During one session we were building campfires live while the actor was improvising, miming warming himself in front of the fire. We didn’t plan to do that. That flexibility and review quality is something that Caitlyn and I aren’t used to.”

While the setup is still new, it has already been used for a number of projects, including the animation of new zombies for PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS’ zombie mode. The data was captured in the Madison studio then shared with the  team in Seoul for cleanup and animation.

“We have been doing a fair amount of the retargeting directly inside Shōgun,” explains Fifield, discussing the new pipeline. “We’ll live-retarget the actor solve that Shōgun comes up with to the PUBG skeleton or the Unreal Engine mannequin, and that gets us most of the way there for any of the more standard content that we’re shooting. We can run that fbx export through our Maya tools to put the data on our animation rigs. And when I do need to feed the data into other software, it’s easy to get what I need out of Shōgun.”

The story doesn’t stop there, to read the full case study, you can download it below.


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