Vicon House of Moves Helps Robots Shuffle to 'Party Rock Anthem' in New Spot for Kia Soul
September 27, 2011

Vicon House of Moves Helps Robots Shuffle to 'Party Rock Anthem' in New Spot for Kia Soul

Los Angeles, Calif. - Vicon House of Moves (HOM), a motion-capture and animation service company, provided mocap and data processing to bring the dancing alien robots and humanoids to life alongside the fan-favorite hamsters for the :60 "Share Some Soul" spot for Kia Motors America.

Directed by Mark Romanek, the spot initially aired during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.

Executing a concept developed by creative agency David&Goliath, production company Anonymous Content and visual effects company Method approached Vicon House of Moves to help mobilize alien robots and humanoids into a choreographed routine to LMFAO's hit song "Party Rock Anthem." Working with Anonymous Content's designs, Method Studios created the all-CG world, as well as the hamsters and robots, to which Vicon HOM added movement through mocap at its Los Angeles studio.

Vicon HOM shot the mocap over the course of two days with seven performers on its 2,520 square-foot main stage, which features 80 Vicon T160 16-megapixel cameras. Each of the dance performers acted out the detailed choreography. Once capture was completed, Vicon HOM cleaned up the data with tracking and labeling. Then, they solved proportions to map the actors' movements onto the character-sized skeletons and finally retargeted the proportions to scale so the characters moved as the actors did. The entire process was completed in less than three weeks with Method ultimately receiving moving characters, which they were then able to integrate into their created environment.

"Mark Romanek and I had previously done stunt work for a television pilot at House of Moves and it was such a great experience, we didn't have to think twice about going to them with the Kia project," says Brad Parker, the spot's senior VFX supervisor. "Their facility is very well-put together and director-friendly. They have all the gear to put together whatever is needed and deliver clean data in a timely fashion."

"When combined with creative vision and top notch visual effects, mocap can help give realistic movement to anything imaginable," says Brian Rausch, vice president of production, Vicon House of Moves. "We maintain a world-class facility equipped with Vicon's latest mocap cameras to breathe life into our clients' wildest creations-even dancing robots that are inspired by a hamster's inner groove."