Motion Capture (Mo-Cap) Technology is relatively new in India. Even for Hollywood, it took a lot of time to master it, and only in the past decade, we have seen movies like Avatar, The Avengers, The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, etc. using this technology to perfection.
What is Motion Capture Technology?
It's a simple process to shoot films in this technology if we explain it in just words. But it's a lot more complicated than you can imagine. The actors wear a motion capture suit and give their performance that is captured by many cameras. The wires of the suit are also connected to computers using which they refine the performance. Most of the lead actors are given a head camera which is very useful to capture even the smallest of expressions.
The Shooting Process
In some of the films shot using this technique, there won’t be any realistic locations or thousands of artists. Even the biggest of scenes have to be shot according to the vision of the director. The actors, though they are alone while shooting, have to imagine everything and perform accordingly.
The Advantages and Disadvantages
Films shot using Mo-Cap technology have their share of advantages and disadvantages. The major advantage is there is no wastage of resources and time, especially during the shoot. There are no realistic locations or hundreds of junior artists, so the logistics expense will be reduced by a huge margin. Even huge sets for wars, songs, etc. need not be constructed.
The major disadvantage however is, if the output doesn’t translate well, the film looks cartoony. We have seen how Kochadaiiyaan despite diligent efforts from director Soundarya Rajinikanth and the team looked more like an animated film instead of a motion capture film. One more disadvantage is everything has to be imagined by the actors, technicians, etc. If their imagination doesn’t match with the director’s vision, the output won’t be of high quality.
Motion Capture In India:
Though this technology is relatively new in India, there are a few films that used this technology. Jr NTR was reportedly the first actor to be a part of this technology for an animated character that comes in his movie Kantri for a brief time. It was shot way back in 2007 and he gave as many as 64 expressions, to make that 3D animated character look just like him.
Then Suriya’s Mattraan used performance capture technology for one of the roles played by Suriya. The film which was planned in 2009 initially was postponed to 2012 due to the lack of this technology in India.
Then came Kochadaiiyaan, the dream project of Soundarya Rajinikanth and the first Indian film to use motion capture technology for the entire film. As many as 48 cameras were used as the film used performance capture technology and those 48 cameras would capture the performance of the actors in 48 different angles. Though the film was not very successful at the box office, it remains the pioneer of motion capture technology in India. Other films like Jeans, Teddy, etc. used this technology for small sequences or a single role.
Adipurush and Motion Capture:
Now, after almost a decade after the shoot of Kochadaiiyaan, Adipurush film’s director has announced that the film will be made using motion capture technology. With the kind of advancements made in the world cinema using this technology and with the budget not being an issue, we can expect a high-quality project soon. Moreover, the film is using a combination of performance capture and motion capture technology so the output should be of Hollywood standards. The marketing has to be done appropriately as the audience are not aware of motion capture film. They can easily mistake it for an animated film if the output is below par. However, we hope the team of Adipurush will make full use of the technology’s potential and deliver us a masterpiece.