[Home] [Performance] [Research] [Publications] [Links]
Motion Capture Research - William Forsythe

Back to Motion Capture Research Overview

Reflections on Dancing with Wiiliam Forsythe
April 20, 2000

I greeted "Bill" 9:00 a.m. as he entered the UCI Motion Capture Studio. "Just want to find out what it feels like to be motion captured", he said and after a few minutes of showing him the space and discussing what he would wear...(he had on jeans, t-shirt and sneakers and didn't bring anything skin-tight to wear) we realized that I would have to loaned him my clothes before proceeding to "mark him' with the motion capture sensors. After both of us were "marked up" improvised in the motion capture volune as the cameras surrounding the performance space "captured" our movements. We each wore 32 reflective markers attached to our joint centers. I asked Bill, "What do you want to do (concept for the improvisation)? He said, "read my lines" while shifting right, left, with right arm out to the side, up and around, demonstrating the idea of lines moving. I responded immeditely, watching the lines he was making and inserting my own body in between, sometimes intercepting his lines with my own. Finding spaces between his moving extremities was like reading and responding between the line in a book. It seemed we had a mutual understanding of time and energy, not much needed to be discussed. We improvsed in short sequences of approximately 1 - 2 minutes each for the next hour, checking the captures as we went along. The following "skeleton" images are the original data captures of Bill. The small round nodes represent the placement of the reflective markers. The second row of images below are the "past" motion paths, trailing the body. The third row of images are the "future" motion paths, foreshadowing the body. This "trailing" and "foreshadowing" and "steady state" of physical energy an ongoing theme, explored in several of my performance works.

What we obtain from a motion capture session is a set of unconnected dots that portray an individual’s motion sequence. It is at this point that the first level of interpretation begins, an important aspect of which is detection of manipulative intent. The collection of dots, known, as cloud points must be identified, and in most situations will indicate the joint centers of an individual body.

Click an image to view it full size
forsythe01.jpg (27 K) forsythe02.jpg (13 K) forsythe03.jpg (16 K) forsythe04.jpg (18 K)
forsythe06.jpg (19 K) forsythe08.jpg (32 K) forsythe09.jpg (33 K) forsythe10.jpg (49 K) forsythe12.jpg (41 K)
forsythe13.jpg (27 K) forsythe14.jpg (28 K) forsythe15.jpg (57 K) forsythe16.jpg (74 K) forsythe17.jpg (41 K)
forsythe20.jpg (32 K) forsythe21.jpg (30 K) forsythe22.jpg (16 K)
Copyright © 2001 Lisa Naugle