​Vicon’s motion capture is embedded in the latest production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest

​Vicon’s motion capture is embedded in the latest production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Vicon cameras enable The Royal Shakespeare Company to create the first live motion capture theatre performance

Oxford, UK – 18 November 2016 – Vicon, the motion capture technology specialist for the entertainment, engineering and life science industries, today announced that one of its motion capture systems and powerful object tracking solution, Tracker will be used for the upcoming theatre production of The Tempest.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios, is creating a new production of The Tempest starring Simon Russell Beale as Prospero. The innovative production will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and go down in history as the first live motion capture performance featured in a major stage production.

Motion capture technology is used heavily throughout the performance and the production team will use Vicon’s optical camera system to track the whereabouts of moving objects on stage, some of which will be held by the actors. Vicon cameras will also capture various screens during the performance, informing the production team of their movements on and around the stage. Due to its precision tracking capabilities the Vicon system will provide the animation team with real-time feedback, allowing them to have complete visibility of the objects on stage as well as managing interactions between the cast.

With the addition of augmented reality to the performance, an added layer of complexity is presented. It was important for THE RSC to have a mocap system in place which would accurately inform the other technical elements of the production. In order to create this consistency, a Vicon system will be tracking screens as well as moving objects during the performance. The data processed by the Tracker software using Intel® Xeon® and Intel® Core™ i7 processors will not only inform the lighting software and drive the spotlights for the performance, but also enable the augmented reality aspect of the production – allowing objects to become projected onto screens in real-time. To enable this innovative use of technology, Vicon and d3 technologies have developed a bespoke software solution allowing the data generated by Tracker to drive d3’s software using the PosiStageNet protocol – an industry standard which is used to drive interactive effects and lighting on stage.

“We are using Vicon cameras and Tracker software to track moving objects and actors for projection mapping and light tracking. In order to realise this, we’ve been working with the Vicon and d3 Technologies to develop a plug in application of PosiStage.Net. This will mean that both video and light tracking will be sharing the same tracking data protocol from the Vicon camera system.” said Pete Griffin, RSC Production manager on The Tempest.

Ben Lumsden, Head of Studio at The Imaginarium Studio added: “This theatrical production of The Tempest will see never before used technology on stage. This live spectacle, which starts today, has been further enhanced by bringing in the expertise of Vicon and the use of their cameras, which adds greatly to the audiences’ experience.”

‘Combining one of Shakespeare’s most renowned plays with innovative, augmented reality driven by Vicon technology signals a change in theatre production and traditional media,’ said Imogen Moorhouse, CEO, Vicon. ‘It’s important to continue to innovate in motion capture and The Royal Shakespeare Company have demonstrated just how versatile the technology is when used to ignite the imagination of theater goers old and new.”

About Vicon

Academy Award®-winning Vicon www.vicon.com is the world’s largest supplier of precision motion tracking systems and match-moving software. It serves customers in sports performance, research and biomechanics industries. As well as those in robotics, ergonomics, film, visual effects, video games and broadcast television sectors.

Among many others, Vicon global clients include:

  • Clinical Sciences: Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre – Oxford, Headley Court, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, Oslo University Hospital, UZ Leuven, Salford University, Strathclyde University, Guys Hospital, Loughborough University – Peter Harrison Centre, St. Thomas Hospital, Dundee TORT Centre, Melbourne Children’s Hospital, Stellenbosch University, ORLAU, Orthopedic Hospital Vienna
  • Biomechanics & Sports: Loughborough University School of Sport and Exercise, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Imperial College – London, University of Western Australia, Japanese Institute of Sport Science, University of Oregon, High Performance Centre – Pretoria, Adidas, Reebok, Li-Ning, Asics, Xtep Sports, Proctor & Gamble, SIS, Cricket Australia, University of Cologne, Redbull, Otto bock, Össur HF
  • Entertainment: Framestore, Audiomotion, The Imaginarium, Quantic Dream, Ninja Theory, Konami, Activision, Sony, Dreamworks, ILM, USC, EA, Capture Lab, 2K Games, CD Projekt, Digic Pictures, IO Interactive, Creative Assembly, Plarium Games, Mocap Lab
  • Object Tracking: DJI, European Space Agency, ETH Zurich, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, MIT, Edinburgh University, NASA, Parrot, CSIR (South Africa), Dyson, Imperial College London
  • VR: Artanim, VR Tech, Maserati, Fiat Group, BMW, Ford, Toyota, NASA, European Space Agency, Daimler, VVT

Vicon is a subsidiary of Oxford Metrics (LSE: OMG) www.omgplc.com. Oxford Metrics develops and markets analytics software for motion measurement and infrastructure asset management. Clients range from highways authorities to hospitals to Hollywood studios in over 70 countries worldwide. Through advanced algorithms and elegant visualisation, the group’s companies help clients measure, analyse and optimise the metrics that matter most to them.


Support is a large part of the Vicon offering and it’s something we’re very proud of. Not only do new customers receive a one year warranty on their hardware, but all of our customers benefit from basic phone, email and web technical support for the life of their system.

Get Support