Motion Capture in Action | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

Cleansing: Noise Reduction and Collaboration

The process of data collection is followed by a meticulous process of cleaning in order to ensure its usability. Noise reduction is an important element of this process that enables me to sieve through the data and reduce the computational errors introduced during the process of capture.

Cleaning the F-curves that hold the information of the animated frames at the rate of 120 frames per second presents one of the most grueling tasks in this entire process. The computational translation of the moving body results in a considerable amount of noise causing unwanted jitters in the movement. Sometimes due to occlusion, misrecognition, or non-recognition of marker information by the cameras, certain parts of the body fail to maintain resilience and continuity in the capture. This results in movements that animate the apparition in a ghostly manner, the neck turns 180 degrees or the wrist twists in an awkward fashion, or the ankle bends in ways that hurt, generating extreme kinesthetic reactions. I clean the noise using inbuilt filters or by manual interpolation (Figure 13). This process reminds me of Sadhana, the grueling and grilling disciplining regimen requiring me to practice traditional Odissi repertoire for hours together. Inculcated in my trained body is the practice regimen that requires a stringent practicing of my craft with painstaking precision and presence of mind.

A sreenshot of a graph being displayed
Figure 13. The interpolation of F-Curves while cleaning noise in 3D data of human motion.

The digital capture of Odissi movement using 3D motion capture technology visualizes as well as analyzes embodied movement. I see myself moving in the 3D environment without my flesh. I see myself in the habitual quirks and ticks, a deflected neck here and a tucked tail bone there. I see my hips isolate from the torso or not. My torso moves in opposition to my neck, a phenomenon that vouches for my technical precision in executing Odissi. The digital representation of my movement hence gives an opportunity to locate exact anatomical positions enabling a clear sense of spatial and axial motion. Yet, the motion in the animation world seems as ephemeral as in the real world, except that here there remains only the skeletal body tracing motion in a 3D space. The markers flicker on and off constantly solving algorithmic problems to determine the best possible approximation of my moves. If the Mahari lurks as a trace within the live Odissi dancing body that strips her away while simultaneously appropriating her emotional persona and ritual aura, I wonder about her occasional and flickering reappearence in the computational domain.