Vicon Motion Capture Empowers Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet


Updated British Animated Television Series Brought to Air in Life-Like 3D Using VICON MX 40 Cameras

Last Updated: June 20, 2005 10:55 pm GMT
(Oxford, UK -- June 20, 2005) VICON, developer of Academy Award®-winning motion capture technology, announced use of VICON cameras and software on Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet, a new 3D animated television program and the first entertainment project to be completed with VICON's MX40 four-million-pixel optical motion capture cameras. In continuing Gerry Anderson's popular 1960s Saturday morning British series and updating it with cutting-edge CG, The Indestructible Production Company at Pinewood Studios, London, sought the leading motion capture technology, building its own in-house motion capture studio and acquiring VICON's top-of-the-line equipment.

VICON's MX 40 cameras are the world's first to record with sub-millimeter-accurate, four-million pixel resolution. The Indestructible Production Company capitalized on the ultra-high precision of 18 VICON MX40s to capture of the moves of human performers and bring life to the all-digital show's characters. Twenty-six 30-minute episodes have been delivered, in HD, with the studio shaving its schedule significantly per episode with production-ready motion capture data from the VICON system.

"I'm usually very skeptical of vendor claims on hardware and software, but VICON's MX system just blew me away -- it's a quantum leap ahead of anything else in the industry," said Ron Thorton, CG Producer, and a 15-year veteran of the industry. "The combination of the new MX cameras and VICON's iQ software enabled us to produce huge amounts of extremely accurate data and greatly reduce our workload. The quality and quantity of data every week from our VICON MX system was astonishing."

At Pinewood, The Indestructible Production Company constructed a purpose-built motion capture studio for the series, outfitting it with 16 VICON MX 40 cameras and then adding two more VICON MX 40 units as production ensued. Right out of the gate, the company was capturing complex fight scenes with six actors and props simultaneously, rapidly producing clean data using the VICON MX and iQ real-time system and multiple seats of VICON iQ post processing software for the animation pipeline.

"The original Captain Scarlet was an instant classic, and it's exciting to see it's working new magic with the backing of the latest computer animation and motion capture techniques," said David Lowe, Business Development Manager, VICON. "This team of innovators has a long history of producing work that stands out and sets the new bar in our industry, so it's no surprise that they were among our first VICON MX40 customers and were shooting real production footage on a television deadline with the system from Day One."

Developed by Gerry Anderson, creator of The Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson's The New Captain Scarlet is airing in the UK and has been picked up by Sony Pictures Television for distribution in the US. The series stays faithful to Anderson's immensely popular original Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, done in the 1960s using puppets, and brings the regenerative hero's continuing adventures using the stunning digitally supported action and visuals made possible today.

VICON and its sister companies 2d3 and House of Moves contribute via their products and services to a wide range of television and film productions involving visual effects. Technologies developed by VICON continue to enable ground-breaking creative firsts, such as last-year's performance capture feature The Polar Express, starring Tom Hanks. VICON received a Scientific and Technical Academy Award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in February 2005.

Motion capture solutions from VICON consist of high-resolution, high-frame-rate cameras built by VICON specifically for motion tracking. VICON's next-generation VICON MX real-time optical motion capture systems usher in ultra-high-resolution, virtually artifact-free capture with VICON MX40, the world's first four-million-pixel motion capture camera. VICON MX revolutionizes the quality, flexibility and ease with which motion capture data can be applied to real-time and off-line applications in film, television, video games, virtual prototyping, biomechanical analysis and more.

About Vicon:
Vicon Motion Systems is a subsidiary of OMG plc (LSE: OMG) with global headquarters in Oxford, UK, and US headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. OMG subsidiary 2d3 Ltd. produces innovative visual geometry software deriving 3D data from moving images. Since 1984, Vicon has been providing professionals with the latest tools to accurately capture the subtleties of three-dimensional human motion for research, medicine, sport, engineering, game development, broadcast and film. For more information about Vicon, or to view a comprehensive list of worldwide distributors, visit or contact +44 (0) 1865-261800 in the UK or (949) 472-9140 in the US.


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