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Oct 03 2012

NYIT Motion Capture Lab Goes Commercial

NYIT

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (October 3, 2012)  – New York Institute of Technology has re-launched its motion capture lab as a commercial venture that will provide services to clients from animation studios, visual effects companies, and video game developers.

The motion capture laboratory in the Midge Karr Fine Arts Center has been renamed B15 Studios under the direction of David Voci (B.F.A, ’07), an adjunct professor and expert in character and motion capture animation. The lab, outfitted with cameras, computers, and animation software, allows for video shoots that “capture” the motions of actors dressed in special suits and transform that data to create the basis of computer-generated animated images.

A crew from the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet show visited the studio recently to film an in-depth segment on B15’s work. Reporter Lucas Cochran and a Portuguese Water Dog named Ozzie donned spandex suits dotted with reflective markers and performed a series of exercises and movements to generate computerized images that could be converted into digital animations. The show can viewed online

Voci said that the lab provides educational opportunities for NYIT students and professional services for a variety of industries, including medical research, videogame development, and security firms.

“What’s really special about our lab is not only the investment in our technology but the investment in people,” said Voci, noting that he and others associated with the lab have years of motion capture experience. “Our expertise really sets us apart.”

Voci said the new studio also plans to host a summer camp, connect with clients in engineering, government, life sciences, and sports industries, offer professional certifications in computer graphics, and expand courses for undergraduate and graduate students. The new studio may work with autism experts to produce special videos to assist children with autism – one of several medical applications of motion capture technology.

NYIT’s motion capture lab was established in 2008 under the leadership of Fine Arts Chair Peter Voci. With limited hardware, the lab worked on projects with NASA and others, and was the site of undergraduate classes in motion capture. Over several years, NYIT upgraded and expanded the lab, working on several research and animation productions with several clients, including the National Basketball Association and the US Army.

“It’s been evolving over the last five-and-a-half years,” David Voci said. “When we first started we had eight small cameras and we shared a space.  Since then it’s grown to be a 32-camera system, we’ve added a lot of display elements, and the space itself has been expanded.”

An adjacent classroom has been transformed into a space overlooking the motion capture area where Voci, lab manager Jon Squitieri and three graduate students meet with clients and demonstrate the lab’s capabilities.

“As an institution with strong emphasis on technology, NYIT has had the tradition of incubating new ideas and transforming them into successful businesses,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rahmat Shoureshi, Ph.D.   “We plan to further expand in this area with emphasis on creating spin-off companies and contributing to the local and national economies. The B15 Studios is a good example of this expansion and NYIT’s movement in the direction of technology commercialization.” 

 

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About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
 
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.
 
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