NaturalMotion tech 'simplifies Kinect development'

NaturalMotion tech 'simplifies Kinect development'

By Rob Crossley

November 2nd 2010 at 8:00AM

Animation specialist reveals new Kinect middleware; studios already on board

NaturalMotion believes it can make Kinect game development as simple and straightforward as playing games on the upcoming device.

The company has revealed to Develop a new Kinect module for its popular animation middleware, Morpheme; one which it says can bring an end to any in-game lag issues.

“Lag times in Kinect are just not a problem with the right filtering algorithms and judicious use of motion input in different situations,” says NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil.

In a new interview with Develop, Reil says the new Morpheme Kinect module can provide animators and programmers the right tools to kill off lag much easier than usual.

The Kinect module works by allowing animators and programmers graphically author how Kinect data is used on their in-game characters.

“The Kinect system runs live alongside our Morpheme runtime engine. The Kinect module in the Morpheme runtime retargets the live motion data onto your character and from there can be treated like any other animation data,” said Reil.

“What’s also cool is that you can prototype Kinect game ideas or controls quickly in Morpheme without having to get a dedicated engine going,” he added.

NaturalMotion, the Oxford based middleware group, has already licensed its motion-control middleware module to “multiple studios”, and is optimistic about the tech’s future.

“Kinect for Morpheme is very cost effective in terms of the time and money it saves both compared to creating a similar solution in-house, as well as in terms of sheer reduction in iteration time.”

Reil said Microsoft has been positive and “very supportive” about the new module, which will be available to all developers soon.

“It’s clear that Kinect is crucial to Microsoft’s Xbox strategy, and it’s great to see how it’s supporting the development and tech ecosystem around it.”