This past week, Autodesk announced investment in “RADiCAL”, a company that created an AI-powered motion capture solution. According to Autodesk, this is another step towards democratizing content creation production.
From what I understand, RADiCAL is a markerless motion capture platform that produces animation from your captured video. The system uses deep learning, human biomechanics and other technologies to reproduce the motion from your video, and this is all processed in the cloud so you don’t need to get a powerful computer to use it. As someone who has used pre-recorded video for motion capture in the past, I know how CPU-consuming it is, as some clips took between a few minutes up to one hour to process. Being able to delegate this task to a cloud computer is more than welcome.
I have never used RADiCAL, since I have very limited space and, whenever I’ve tried one of those markerless motion capture systems, I always need to move everything around to make enough space for the cameras.
Although I have never used RADiCAL, I am glad this happened in the form of an investment, since this can help the developers at that company improve their systems and maybe even create new “add-ons” to their main offering. According to the announcement, the investment is expected to help RADiCAL in different ways, like improving the AI system, increasing the capacity of their cloud infrastructure, and enhance collaboration with film, television and games.
However, another reason why I am glad this happened in the form of an investment, and not an acquisition, is because Autodesk sometimes has this tendency of just making applications disappear without utilizing the technology in any of their product lines. And this was my not-so-subtle reminder of what happened to Softimage and Face Robot.
I’m sure this is going to be the start of a lot of new things for RADiCAL. Although I have never used their application (mostly because my animation needs are very basic right now) I will need to take a closer look at their app and test it for myself. It’s always good to have affordable mocap options, even if they require you to empty an entire room.