Learning Scottish country dancing can seem overwhelming to new dancers as they try to assimilate a whole new vocabulary, complicated steps and formations, and to dance in time with the music. Each dance is briefed with a stream of words, and any distraction means that some dancers will miss instructions. If a walk-through is done before each dance, it consumes much of the time that could otherwise be used for dancing.
It would be easier to review a dance quickly and have the dancers remember it if they viewed a 3-D animation that combined a briefing and one progression of the dance with the music. More people might try Scottish country dancing if they saw videos that explained the dance and showed a perfect performance of the dance.
Just imagine what could be done with 3-D animation of human figures:
- Combining the dance movements, music (with the beats counted), and a view of an entire set dancing in time with the beats can give dancers a more accurate mental model of the dance than if each dancer has to create this model in their own mind.
- Camera views can be from anywhere in the set, even from the point of view of specific dancers, as needed to best explain the dance.
- Music is added electronically, instead of being played in a large room with background noise. The video animation is generated from a 3-D computer model, so random spectators would never be able to block the camera view.
- Detailed videos with teaching of the dance could be used for classes, or by dancers who cannot attend regular classes, or to help new dancers feel more confident and improve quickly.
- Motion capture could compare student's footwork to the footwork of a top dancer, for review with an instructor, leading to faster improvement for students.
Motion capture can be done using Microsoft Kinect with iClone 5 by Reallusion Inc. The Kinect sensor array collects the motion data in real time. No special clothing or markers are required to measure positions or motion with Kinect. The motion data is applied to standard models of human beings that include equations of motion to get the physics correct for a realistic dancer.
The motion data can be edited into an actual dance and copied multiple times to create all the dancers needed in a virtual set. On June 1, 2015, Reallusion, Inc. announced the iClone 6 MoCap package, along with an upgrade path for the features in the newly-released Microsoft Kinect v2 SDK, when the upgraded version of iClone is released in August 2015. iClone 6 has more advanced rendering capabilities using ray tracing for photo realistic animation, so the fact that this project for Scottish Country Dancing will not need to support iClone 5 for motion capture AND iClone 6 for the best rendering of animation is a significant improvement. More information on the software and hardware is available at www.reallusion.com/iclone/. Also, the iClone 6 Manual is available online.
Some YouTube videos on iClone and motion capture are linked below:
- iClone5 Tutorial - Motion Capture Animation
- iClone 6 - New Features Guide
- iClone 6 Tutorial - Softcloth for Character Clothing
Some templates for kilts, dresses, and a King's Hall are linked below:
- Dual core CPU or higher
- 4 GB RAM
- 5 GB free hard disk space
- Display Resolution: 1024 x 768
- Color Depth: True Color (32-bit)
- Graphics Card: NVidia Geforce GTZ 400 Series / AMD Radeon HD 5000 Series
- Video Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Intel i5 dual core CPU or higher
- 8 BG RAM or higher recommended
- 10 GB free hard disk space of higher
- Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher
- Graphics Card: NVidia Geforce GTX 600 Series / AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series or higher
- Video Memory: 2 GB RAM or higher
- Video card compatible with Pixel Shader 3.0 recommended
- Kinect for Windows V1, or Kinect For Xbox 360
- Sound card / keyboard / Speaker
- 3-button mouse
- DirectX 11
- Internet connection required for online activation
- Stereo devices and player are required for viewing contents with stereo vision