[[quoteright:300:[[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pirates22_6178.jpg]]]]

->''"Motion capture is exactly what it says: it's physical moves, whereas performance capture is the entire performance - including your facial performance. If you're doing, say, martial arts for a video game, that is motion capture. This is basically another way of recording an actor's performance: audio, facial and physical."''
-->-- '''Andy Serkis'''

%% Quote changed per thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1327331003042025100&page=122
%% Please do not change or remove without discussing it in the thread.

Motion Capture is a relatively new procedure that removes the need for traditional animation of characters, at least in 3D. Or so they say; depending on the goal, anywhere from trivial to massive re-animating over top of the mocap data can be required.

Basically, a performer wears a skin-tight nylon suit with reflective little balls on their joints (elbows, feet, knees, head, chest etc). A scanner scans the position of the joints in, and the actor's movements are digitized for use on one or more computer-animated characters.

It has a few advantages over traditionally animating something: namely, it is less time-consuming and makes giving them lifelike movement much easier (though this can be a [[UncannyValley bad thing]]).

{{Rotoscoping}} is the manual, pre-computer version of this process.

Often a domain of the SerkisFolk.


* Advertising/{{Orangina}} used Motion Capture in their various, strange CGI commercials. See [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnodhLxo0zA here]] for the "making of" vid.

[[folder:Film - Live-Action ]]
* One cannot mention Motion Capture without Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' and ''Film/TheHobbit'' film adaptations and Kong in ''Film/KingKong2005''. Though it was a mix between mocap and computer animation.
* Everything in ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is mocaped, or like Creator/JamesCameron likes to call it, performance captured, which means full body movement including facial muscles and the eyes without any additional animation.
* ''Film/JurassicPark'' did this for some of the dinosaur shots after they decided to go with CGI instead of puppets. The puppeteer crew was kept on and essentially did motion capture puppeteering.
** This was a strange case, as they were once supposed to be stop motion. They decided to ditch that, but made dinosaur armatures connected to servos, which animated the dinosaurs on the computers. This was done to ease the jarringness of transferring to CG for mostly stop motion animators.
* The Martians in ''Film/JohnCarter''. Interestingly enough, the film was directed by Andrew Stanton (whose old company, Creator/{{Pixar}}, wasn't very big on the process).
* Pictured above, Bill Nighy in ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' movies, playing ruthless and [[YourSoulIsMine devilish]] captain Davy Jones.
* In ''Film/{{Hulk}}'' director Ang Lee himself "played" the Hulk via motion capture.
* Used InUniverse in ''Film/GrudgeMatch'', where Razor and Kid both get motion captured for a boxing video game.
* Creator/RosaSalazar portrays the titular character using this technique in ''Film/AlitaBattleAngel''.

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* Creator/RobertZemeckis is fond of this: he used it to create ''WesternAnimation/MonsterHouse'', ''WesternAnimation/ThePolarExpress'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Beowulf 2007}}'', ''Film/AChristmasCarol2009'', and ''WesternAnimation/MarsNeedsMoms''. For some viewers, the results dwell deep in the UncannyValley.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HappyFeet'', most of the penguins sing, and so have talented singers for voice actors. Mumble, on the other hand, tap dances, so the producers brought in (and credited) famous tap-dancer Savion Glover to do the motion capture just for Mumble.
* Several Creator/JimHenson Productions that use CGI characters have used a puppet-like armature covered in sensors, to allow the company's puppeteers to animate the character in real-time using their existing skills; Henson puppeteers regularly perform by watching their own actions on a video monitor. Generally, the low-quality real-time render is redone as a better render afterward.
* The [[WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin film adaptation of]] ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' is also based on these.
* The Ballet Dancing in the Barbie movies is this.
* WesternAnimation/FoodFight was among the first, production wise, animation films to use the tech. However, it wasn't exactly the best. It was noted in by the WebVideo/NostalgiaCritic that it seemed as if the characters' expressed themselves mostly through awkwardly waving their arms, and it's more akin to watching [[Franchise/StarWars C-3PO]] suffer a seizure. Spending ten years in DevelopmentHell meant that it looked kind of dated compared to later films that used motion capture successfully.
* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}: The Legend Reborn'', produced by the same guys as ''Foodfight'', contains a few scenes of this. But are pulled off much more effectively than that film.
* A few background characters in WesternAnimation/{{Barnyard}} were done this way.
* The guitar playing in ''WesternAnimation/{{Coco}}'' was animated this way.

[[folder: Music Videos]]
* Kraftwerk's Musique Non Stop video was mocaped.

* In the original Broadway production of ''Theatre/ShrekTheMusical'', this was how the Magic Mirror's face was portrayed on the stage.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* From 1995 though 1998, there was a satellite TV channel showing a bingo program called ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kobunPimqjg Basil Basset Bingo]]'', hosted by the titular Basil. Bizarrely enough, Basil himself was [[PropRecycling reused]] for ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIpoWbUrfZM Macaroni tout garni]]'', a Québécois kids show.

[[folder:Video Games]]
%%Entries should be made in chronological order%%
* More and more common in video games, especially {{Fighting Game}}s. Incredibly helpful to make 3D martial arts maneuvers look authentic to have an actual martial artist recording said maneuvers. Granted, there's some problems if the move's mapped onto someone drastically different from the attacker or defender, but adds a little verisimilitude.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'' (1989) - credited by the Guiness Book of World Records for first use of motion capture in a video game, albeit via rotoscoping.
* The Interplay adaption of ''[[LordOfTheRings The Lord of the Rings]]'' was motion captured in the cheapest, most primitive way imaginable. For example, Gandalf was 'played' by one of the developers wearing a bathrobe, sombrero, and Santa Claus beard.
* ''[[VideoGame/MaddenNFL Madden NFL Football]]'' 1994
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'': Some of Link's stunts were done with motion capture.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' used motion captured animations in the Zelda series for the first time since 1998. The motion capture is especially evident in cutscenes.
* Experimented with in the ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid VR Missions'' add-on (2000), brought into all later games in the series, with Creator/HideoKojima directing the actors as if it were a movie.
** Nearly caused problems when, during the development of ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' (2001), Kojima's son (who had been taken into the studio by his father so he could have company) toddled onto the set, picked up a prop sword and started poking the reflective dots on the motion capture actors' suits with it.
** During development of ''Metal Gear Solid 4'' (2008), the additional time needed to render the cutscenes meant the voice actors had to sync along with camera-recorded motion capture footage instead - weirdly enough, it improved performance. Facial motion capture was also used for the first time, and to great effect.
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombatDeadlyAlliance'' has Mokap, a motion capture actor as an actual playable character.
* Capcom's ''VideoGame/ClockTower3'' uses motion capture in its cut scenes.
* ''VideoGame/{{Primal}}'' (2003) When it works, it works really well. A couple of times it seems to be wildly overdone, perhaps to draw attention to the fact that it's motion capture.
* ''VideoGame/EnterTheMatrix'' (2003) had all actor's movements, combos and speech mo-capped. This resulted in the very smooth movements, unfortunately overshadow by graphics, obsolete even by 2003 standards.
* ''VideoGame/GhostHunter'' (2003)
** They even seem to have captured Michael Gambon's characteristic stoop.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry3DantesAwakening'' (2003) had Creator/ReubenLangdon, Daniel Southworth, and Stephanie Cheeva mocap as Dante, Vergil, and Lady respectively.
** ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry4'' (2008) had Reuben reprise as Dante, while Creator/JohnnyYongBosch was Nero's mocap actor.
* ''VideoGame/UnchartedDrakesFortune'' (2007), ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'' (2009) and ''VideoGame/Uncharted3DrakesDeception'' (2011), although Naughty Dog still insists on doing facial animation manually. They are continuing the trend with ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs''.
* ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' (2007) and its expansion ''Soviet Assault'' use motion-capture for cutscenes; some raw footage of motion-capture sessions plays over the credits with the final cutscene next to it for comparison.
* ''VideoGame/TombRaiderUnderworld'' (2008) used motion capture of gymnast Heidi Moneymaker for Lara's acrobatics.
** ''Underworld'' is the first of the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games to use motion capture.
** Ironically, quite a few players complain about Heidi's ...I mean Lara's incredibly fast movement looking jerky.
* ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' (2010): All major character's performances are fully mocap, including the face and the eyes, just like in ''Film/{{Avatar}}''.
* For ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'', MMA fighter Bas Rutten was used as the motion actor for Niko's martial arts. Bas was also given a cameo as himself in one of the in-game TV shows.
* This was used for ''VideoGame/LANoire'' to help achieve detailed emotions on characters faces.
* ''VideoGame/HeavenlySword'' used this for facial expressions in cutscenes.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games from ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'' onward make extensive use of [=MoCap=] for cutscene animations, both body and face.
* Videogame/BeyondTwoSouls (2013), another David Cage game just like VideoGame/HeavyRain, also used full motion capture and starred Creator/EllenPage and Willem Dafoe as ink suit actors.
* The original version of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' used motion capture, including the player character's attack animations. One of the major criticisms of the game was battles felt clunky and slow due to the "weight" thedf animations had behind them plus their animation locks (though this was just one of many problems the game had). After the game was rebooted, animations were completely redone by using standard animation without motion capture. However, an NPC in the Ninja job quests does use motion capture to emphasize the quirkiness of his character.

* In-universe in ''Webcomic/SandraOnTheRocks'': Part of Sandra's job as the new model for Carmen Chamelia is to do motion capture for the new ''Carmen Chamelia'' game.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Machinima/RedVsBlue: starting in Season 8, battle sequences started being done using motion capture (including most of the insanely awesome Episode 10). Seasons 9 and 10 furthered the motion capture work with all of the Freelancer scenes being entirely motion capture.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This sorta fits in some computer-animated college demo reels.
** The one from 2006, [[https://ia601009.us.archive.org/14/items/bigdog2stupid_gmail/web%20friendly%20reel.mp4 in particular]], has a female character with unnatural Jigglepsychics with her BoobsofSteel; which explains why the animator tried so far to use her expressions (which isn't really a [[UncannyValley good idea]]. But the next half which shows the models have the same girl except different [[BoobsandButtPose boob and butt size]]; albeit the latter much larger than her breast themselves; plus the posture and color schemes. Even the [[http://web.archive.org/web/20120315222227if_/http://www.gradshow.com/gallery/2006/digital/ChristouVangelis.jpg profile picture is different from the demo reel itself]] in which her boobs much bigger; probably resembling more of [[PrinceofPersia The Prince]] and [[TombRaider Lara Croft]].
* Used in in the ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' cartoon, part of the reason why it looks so strange by today's standards.
* ''The Moxie Show'' was ''very'' early AllCGICartoon by Creator/CartoonNetwork. Moxie himself had his first appearance was in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmrDVqu85gg this]] Creator/{{TBS}} cartoon special, which he was rendered in real time, making it among the first TV shows to use mo-cap.
* The humans in ''WesternAnimation/JaneAndTheDragon'' were animated this way at Peter Jackson's Weta Digital in New Zealand.
* The planes' faces in ''WesternAnimation/JayJayTheJetPlane'' were animated this way, so that's why it looks so creepy to parents and older viewers.