MCS Login

MCS Login

Diva - A software made specifically for motion capture, by House of Moves.

IQ - a software made by Vicon for capturing and editing data.

Blade - the latest version of Diva. Replaces IQ. Handles scripting, editing, capture, solving, batching, retargetting, labelling of data.

Motion Builder - A software made specifically for motion capture by Alias.

Filmbox - Something old school mocap people sometimes call Motion Builder. Filmbox was the original name of the Motion Builder software.

EVA - The Motion Analysis software for capturing and editing data.

Pronounced - eeevaaahh

EVA rt - Another name for eva with an emphasise on realtime.

Pronounced - eeevaahh are tea

Calcium - A Motion Analysis software for solving data onto skeletons.

Giant, Vicon, Motion Analysis, NaturalPoint - companies that make and sell Passive Optical Motion Capture systems.


PhaseSpace - A company that makes and sells an Active Optical Motion Capture system.


Cortex - the latest Motion Analysis software. Replaces EvaRT

Performance Capture - the same thing as Motion Capture. usually refers to capture that includes face and body capture which has been aquired simultaneously during the capture process.

MOBU (slang) - the same thing as Motion Builder

Beat - A move that is captured. A motion capture 'Take'

SimulcamA - a live action camera whose position, rotation, orientation and movement is digitally recorded via some realtime external Motion Capture Solution that records the movements of markers placed on the live action camera. The movement of the simulcam is translated to a cg camera within a cg environment and the field of view of the cg camera can be composited in realtime into the viewfinder of the simulcamA. A SimulcamA has no limit on how it can move, as long as it stays within the Mocap Volume. SimulcamA was used on Avatar.


Encoded Camera - the same thing as a SimulcamA except the position, rotation, orientation and movement of the camera is recorded through the use of encoders that translate the analogue movements of the camera rig into digital translations and rotations. Encoded Cameras are limited in that motions can only be recorded if there is movement of some physical hardware (such as the movement of a camera mounted on a technocrane, or a camera mounted on an encoded dolly). Steadicam and hand held camera motion is not possible using an encoded camera solution. The General Lift 'Encoda Cam' solution is an example of encoded camera technology.

Realtime Camera Tracking - Calibrated patterns are placed around the set and a secondary camera is mounted to the live action camera in such a way so the patterns can be seen by the secondary camera. Software (and sometimes additional hardware) analyzes the secondary cameras view to determine the position, rotation, orientation and movement of the live action camera relative to the patterns. Can be hybridized with GPS to allow for camera tracking in any size area. The Prevision system is an example of a Realtime Camera Tracking system.

Realtime - usually refers to the instantaneous playback of the motion on cg characters or to the specialized software and hardware needed (E.G. "lets see the Realtime", or 'We need to restart the Realtime engine', or 'run Realtime and then calibrate the system'

other examples of usage:

"on a Vicon system, Realtime is possible when Motion Capture is processed through 'Tardis', their Realtime engine."

On a giant system, a software called 'Realtime' is used to process the Motion Capture Data in Real-Time.

On a MAC system, software called 'Cortex' handles Realtime but on a Phasespace system its the 'Owl' software.

Real-Time - usually refers to when something is happening.

(E.G. the realtime system displays motion capture animation in real-time)


Realtime Capture - see Realtime

Stage - the place where the volume is located.

The Volume - the area within which Motion Capture data can be aquired. Called a 'Volume' because the area has Length and Width and Height. (Example : 'the actor left the volume during the shot', or 'we need to split the shot up because we cannot fit the entire action into one volume')


Golden (slang) - when something is really good.

  • as in 'the data is golden'

Smokin' Crack (slang) - when someone is asking for something that is less than ideal.

  • as in 'the production team is smoking crack'

On the pipe (slang) - see 'smoking crack'

The Grid (slang)- the same thing as the volume.

Walking the grids (slang)- when we do multiple passes through 'the grid'

The Shadow Grid (slang)- the area outside the volume (see 'The Corral')

Sweet spot (slang)- the center of the volume where there is the most camera coverage

Hard Deck (slang) - The lowest down point in the volume that facial data can be captured, if it cannot be captured everywhere in the volume.

The Corral (slang) - the farthest outside the volume the actors can be for us to be able to get some usable amount of data that, while not ideal, may be possible to deliver.

The System - the Motion Capture software and hardware needed to capture data.

Mission Control (slang) - the place where all the data goes to be stored from 'the system'.

K19 (slang) - same thing as Mission Control

Fetching (slang) - when the system is transfering data from the Motion Capture hardware to the harddrive of the control computer in mission control. Only happens on non-realtime systems. Usually occurs when files are too large to be transmitted quickly to the control PC and data has to be buffered at the point of capture, until it can get written to the harddrive.

On The Fetch (slang) - when we are unable to capture and are waiting for fetching to finish.

  • used on the stage to indicate that we will be waiting ad nasuem

Arming (slang) - when the system hardware is being prepared for the next take but is not yet ready to capture.

Mocap Ready - when arming is complete and the system and mocap team are standing by waiting to capture the next take

Roll Mocap - called by the Motion Capture Supervisor to tell the System Operator to activate the mocap system.

Mocap Speed - a verbal cue the Motion Capture system operator uses to indicate that the Motion Capture system has been triggered and is currently capturing. This cue is relayed verbally to the Motion Capture supervisor who in turn relays it to the production team so that Action can be called by the director.

Copy roll mocap - called by the System Operator to indicate that the command to roll mocap was received and that the system is being triggered.

Cut Mocap - called by the 1st A.D. or the Motion Capture Supervisor to tell the System Operator to deactivate the mocap system

Marker Doon (slang) - yelled whenever a marker/dot/thingy that has fallen off of talent.

Talent - a Mocap Actor

Marker Checker - One of many PA's that check that we dont have a 'marker doon'

Good Markers - yelled by a Marker checker at the end of each take,

 **indicates that all markers have been checked and none are 'doon' 

Occlusive - to block a marker from camera view

Fetch 'n' go (slang)  - an on-set verbal call the AD makes indicating that he wants to shoot another take right away

Shake 'n' bake (slang) - the same as fetch 'n' go

Triangulators (slang) - the Art department people on-set who are responsible for figuring out where things go in the volume to relate to the 3D environment

Zulu's (slang) - the mocap grip team

Zbar (slang) - metal pipes and connectors used to create mocap props and set pieces

Zulu platforms (slang) - mocap platforms that can be set to different heights

The Burka (slang)- a hooded robe that actors with markers on wear when they need to be in the volume, but we don't want to capture them

Jewels (slang)- a sphere covered in retroreflective tape - a motion capture marker

Dots (slang)- same as jewels

LED's - the ringlights on the front of a passive optical system. Some systems may also use LED's instead of spherical markers wrapped in retroreflective tape.


IR LED's - LED's that use a wavelength of 650 nanometers or higher so that they do not pollute the visible spectrum. Usually used so that actors arent blinded or so that the LEDS cannot be seen by a live action camera.

The Flush (slang)- When the systems software or hardware is turned off and back on, to clear out buffers.

M.O.M. (slang)- 'Mitte out mocap' - from the film term M.O.S. (mitte out sound). When we are shooting on stage without any motion capture.

The tentpole (slang)- a reference to the highest point in the 'sweet spot' - the center of the volume.

Guillotined (slang)- when an actor has gone above 'the tentpole' and their facial data cannot be recovered

Tee-Pose - standing position taken by actors at the start and end of beats.

Init Pose – Same thing as a tpose

Knee-pose - a kneeling tpose.

Iron Cross (slang)- a sitting tpose.

Flying Tpose (slang)- a suspended tpose -** used for wire harness stunts

Safe Pie (slang)- a place where producers, directors and other on-set people stand during the shoot so that they do not occlude markers from the cameras. So called because the camera fields of view usually overlap leaving small triangular sections at the edges that are not within any cameras field of view.

Get some pie (slang)- A command given for all on-set personal to clear the volume and move to safe pie.

Chicken Noodle (slang)- When we have finished shooting a beat and are moving on. A bastardization of the film expression 'Checking the Gate, New Deal'

Moving on (slang)- the same thing as chicken noodle.

Mocap Ready (slang)- When the mocap system is ready to capture another beat.

Beat name - the file name of each beat.

Retroreflective Sensor Engineer(slang) - people that do our dirty work for us. - see dot farmer or mocap P.A.

Dot Farmer (slang)- a person who wraps markers in reflective material.

Gnomes (slang)- the nomenclature used to name a beat.

Looking for Gnomes (slang)- we are waiting for the beat nomenclature to be called in to mission control

Tom Jones foam (slang)- soft round tubal foam that is used to pad the corners of sets and props to make them safer for actors

Pool Noodle (slang)- same thing as Tom Jones foam. Usually a floatational toy for children (called a Pool Noodle) that is cheap and can be used in a variety of ways to pad props or sets.

Fear Stick (slang)- a large stick with tom jones foam or a Pool Noodle on the end of it - used to hit actors with to make them react appropriately during shots

Kill Stick (slang)- same thing as a Fear Stick

Mocap Friendly (slang)- When something is not reflective and can safely be brought into the volume

  • as in ' My shoes are mocap friendly'

Calibrate -to register and map the position of Motion Capture sensors in the real world relative to positions within a computer scene.

Calibrate the Cameras or Calibrate the System- Part of the process of turning on the mocap system so that the  mocap cameras positions can be determined relative to the volume and one another. Camera calibration is required for Motion Capture to work properly. Usually camera calibration is achieved by recording the position and movement of one or more calibration objects.

  • as in 'We have calibration' or ' We are now calibrated' is often used to indicate the system is now ready to capture

Dynamic Calibration - A camera calibration technique where the movement of a calibration object is recorded as it is moved around the extents of the Motion Capture Volume.Requires multiple frames to work. Usually provides lens distortion for the cameras and helps improve the static calibration results. May be done before or after static calibration. Is usually required whenever a camera is moved.

Wand the Volume - to obtain a dynamic calibration using a calibration device know as 'the wand'

Static Calibration - a camera calibration technique where the static position of a calibration object is recorded. Only a single frame is needed. Not as robust as dynamic calibration. Provides no lens distortion information. Only used to triangulate the cameras initial positions in the room relative to one another and the static calibration device.

Wand - a dynamic calibration device. usually one or more markers on a long stick. Usually looks like a big T.

LFrame - a type of static calibration device. Shaped like an L. Usually has 4 markers.


Floor Calibration - a method used to determine the slope of the floor of the volume, relative to the cameras. Markers are usually placed around the edges of the volume and a single frame of data is captured.

Cube - a type of static calibration device. Shaped like a big wireframe cube with markers at each corner of the cube. Usually has 8 markers.

ROM the Actor - to aquire a Range of Motion (ROM) where the actor moves through a series of movements used to calibrate a cg character skeleton. A Required step for realtime capture, marker labelling. Helps with, but is not essential for, skeletal solving and character rigging.

Calibrate the Actor Skeleton - When the actors rom is analyzed so that the system can recognize the size, shape and movement of each actors markers. A CG skeleton is aligned within the marker data and posed to match the actors posture as closely as possible. The offsets and mapping between the markers and the bones they are meant to animate is determined and then maintained over time, so that the markers are able to directly rotate and translate the skeleton around the volume.

Calibrate the Character - to align an Actor Skeleton with its intended target Character Skeleton. The pose and position of the two skeletons are manually aligned as closely as possible and the offsets between the two are determined and then maintained over time. A required step for Realtime.

Prop Calibration - The same process used to calibrate an actor skeleton is applied to props. The major difference being that rigid props can be calibrated from a single frame of capture and do not require the same kind of ROM that actors do.


Set Calibration - The same process as prop calibration

The Rig - the structure we mount the cameras to

Bump the Rig -When someone hits the rig and ruins the Calibration

  • as in - 'we've had a rig bump' or 'someone bumped the rig'

Giraffe (slang)- an eyeline pole worn by someone when they are playing a character much taller than they are

Snorkle(slang)- same thing as a Giraffe

Hanging chad (slang)- when a marker is dangling on an actor but has not yet fallen off

Universal Master (slang)- a facial only capture that will be pasted onto a body capture that is done seperately

ROM - a range of motion performed by the actor used to set up their digital counterpart

Face Rom - a ROM for the face

MGM Roar (slang)- same as a face rom

Long Rom - a very complete body ROM.

  • May sometimes include a face rom.

Mocaparana (slang)- same thing as a long rom

Mocap - pokey(slang)- same thing as a long rom

Short Rom - an short and usually not as complete body ROM

  • May sometimes include a face rom

Chicken Dance (slang)- Same thing as a short Rom

Schmutz (slang)- anything that gets on a marker and negatively effects it's reflectivity.

Schmutzy Markers (slang)- markers that are covered in schmutz

Dangler (slang)- same thing as a 'hanging chad'

Dangling Participle (slang)- same thing as a dangler

Slider (slang)- when a marker has slide out of position on an actors face but has not yet fallen off.

Hitchiker (slang)- when a marker has tranferred from one actor to another, but has not fallen off

Shear (slang)- when a marker has been sliced in half so that the reflective spherical part falls on the floor but the base stays on the talent

Sweep the volume (slang)- to look through the capture area, using flashlights, to try and find any reflective objects that have fallen on the floor

Foodify (slang)- to cover a marker with food (see schmutzy markers)

Foodification(slang) - when markers have been foodified

Chocolification (slang)- same thing as foodify (except usually involving chocolate)

Scolari (slang)- to violently remove one's own facial markers during a beat. Named after Peter Scolari.

Rocher (slang) - to violently remove one's own facial markers during a love scene. Named after Sebastian Rocher.

Cheese Grater (slang)- something that causes a 'scolari'. as in ' these burkas are a bit of a cheesegrater'

Take a Heder (slang)- to seriously injure oneself during a take. Named after John Heder.

Monkey Paw (slang)- a hand calibration pose where actors curl the first digit of their fingers and thumb all the way down to touch their palm

Jazz hands (slang)- a hand calibration pose where actors splay their fingers and thumbs outwards from their palms

Fists of fury (slang)- a hand calibration pose where actors clench their fists tightly.

Horsie Carpet(slang) - the carpet used when horses are in the volume

Hero Carpet (slang)- the carpet used for 'hero' talent

Stunt Brothers (slang)- the stunt team

Close the Blast doors (slang)- to close the curtain leading to the mocap volume

DLO (pronounced dee-low) - the 'directors layout' of motion capture. When the director captures or approves the final camera for a shot. DLO is done on shots that have been through RLO.

Directors Layout - required if the director creates shots in post, using a virtual camera in 3D, from an assembly of motion capture beats

DLO camera - the approved virtual camera move that came out of DLO for a particuler shot.

RLO (pronounced ar-low) - 'Rough layout' of the motion capture into scenes that can then be used for DLO.

Integration - the final assembly stage of the all the assets into shots that can be passed on to the next stage of the pipeline (*usually keyframe animation). Integration produces files that contain the DLO camera and all the motion capture cleaned and edited with and all other cg assets into one file ready for the animation team.

Native (slang)– when the motion being used came from the same beat

Non-native (slang) - when the motion being used came from some other beat

Face-paste (slang)– when the face is non-native to the body.

Recycle (slang)- to go out of one side of the volume and come back around the outside to go back through again. See also 'Walking the Grids'

Stray (slang)- A marker that detatches itself from an actor a set or a prop and appears on the floor of the volume. (Same thing as a 'Marker Doon')

Mystery Marker (slang)- A stray marker whose origins are unknown.

Image Eye (slang)- A motion capture technique for capturing an actors eye movements using external sensors. Uses EOG technology.


EOG - Electro-oculography. Recording the electrical impulses of the eye muscles and the positive and negative charge of the eyeball itself, relative to sensors placed around the eye.

Helmet Cam (slang)- A motion capture system in a helmet. May consist of one or more cameras.

HeadRig (slang) - Same thing as a Helmet Cam.

HMC(slang) - Head Mounted Camera. Same thing as Helmet Cam

Head Cam (slang)- same thing as Helmet Cam

EOGEEMA (slang)- when the eye data ,from one or more actors, is no good.

Punk'd (slang)- when a marker is covered by a stunt harness

L.L.I. (slang)- When a beat meets the approval of the script supervisor. Stands for 'Luca likes it'. Named for Luca Kouimelis.

L.O.L. (slang)- indicates that we will be shooting one more take in the current sequence before we move on. Stands for 'Last one Luca'. Named for Luca Kouimelis. Pronounced - ell oh ell

PC (slang)- Primary Capture, of hero talent, see library capture.

PB (slang)- Primary Bank . To capture primary talent for later use, in case it is needed for shot composition, see library capture.

BB (slang)- Backround Bank. To capture background talent for use later, see library capture.

Background Capture (slang)- capture of the movement of secondary actors and their motions.

Library Capture (slang)- To capture a beat for use in a motion library.

Motion Library (slang)- a sequence of beats that can be blended together to make longer motions or used to fill in missing portions of other beats.

Good Eyes or Eyes are good (slang)- called to indicate that the system properly captured the eye data from the previous take. Also used to indicate that the eye system is ready to capture the eye data for the next take.

Good Face or Face is Good. - (slang) called to indicate that the system properly captured the facial data from the previous take

Raw data (slang)– data when it is first generated and has not yet been touched by human hands.

Viz (slang)– to label motion capture data

Clean (slang)– to close gaps and remove noise from motion capture data

Solve (slang)– to turn positional data into rotational data such that it matches the object captured fairly closely in size and shape. (example - Motion Capture for Keany Reeves was solved onto the CG Neo Model)

Retarget (slang)- to map solved motion from the object being captured to an object that does not match it.  (example - The Motion Capture for Happy Feet had to be retargetted from the human actors to the Penguin characters to make them move correctly). Sometimes Mocap data can be solved and retargetted all in one step. Other times its better to first solve the motion to a skeleton that matches the actor exactly and then retarget the motion from that skeleton to the characters skeleton as the result can be manipulated more during the retarget.

Data Editing , Cleaning Data or Marker editing (slang)- to modify the motion capture data that came out of the motion capture software in order to create smooth, gap free trajectories that represent the movements of the markers. Occurs after tracking.

Tracking (slang)- the same thing as data editing. Something usually required during the processing of optical marker data. Tracking is the labelling step for any data that the system generated. Sometimes software is able to complete the tracking phase without human intervention but in many cases a human is required to manually intervene to produce fully tracked motion capture data.


Motion Editing (slang)- to edit, blend or change one or more Motion Capture beats to create new motion that was not captured or to remove any unwanted artifacts from skeletal motion.


Scaling (slang)- to change the size of CG model larger or smaller.


Scale the data (slang)- to change the size of the motion capture data. Mocap is often scaled up or down to match the character dimensions better, prior to solving.

Merge -(slang) The process of merging multiple data streams of capture into one file for processing. On an optical system, the camera data may need to be merged before it can be processed.

TimeWarp (slang)- to speed up or slow down the data without altering the playback speed of the take.


Moven Suit - A name the Xsens MVN suit used to be called.

MVN Suit - a self contained, wearable, inertial motion capture solution consisting of a suit containing multiple inertial devices that captures the movements of an actor.


XSens - the company that makes the MVN suit