PDT Staff Writer
Members of the Shawnee State University Fine Digital and Performing Arts department were on hand Friday to interview and review demonstrations from PhaseSpace, a San Leandro, Calif. based motion capture technology company. With the possibility of buying such a system in the near future.
SSU is in the beginning stages of bringing in a motion capture facility. Once operational, the motion capture technology will allow students in the gaming and animation programs to create digital animations and video games.
Gaming companies from around country have been invited to SSU to demonstrate their technology.
SSU will choose one system to run the motion capture studio.
"We are hoping to have the center open in a temporary location in the fall of 2009. There is still quite a bit to do; we have to purchase a system and install it somewhere," Matt Cram, chairman of the Fine Digital and Performing Arts department, said.
Wherever the system will go, some modifications to it's housing will have to be made.
"We hope to have a permanent facility in three to five years. ...The temporary location will be either in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts or in the Advanced Technology Center. It will be there three to five years," Cram explained.
The goal is to have a system purchased this semester, get it set up and have everyone trained in the technology in the spring.
"Once we get all of that done, in the fall we hope to open it up to students, community members and other people interested in using the technology," Cram said.
The primary drive behind the center is to strengthen the universities gaming and animation programs. Motion capture is used to provide real world data.
"Motion capture provides code so we can animate someone dancing, fighting, running and jumping and other various motions. This kind of technology is used a lot in the gaming and the entertainment industry," Cram said.
There are other uses for the technology such as medical technologies.
One of the hopes the university has is with the installation of the facility other businesses will move to Portsmouth as a result.
"We are going to do what we can to help that," Cram said.
Cram hopes students will be able to get enough experience with the equipment to easily enter the industry.