Natal is 'trying to guess' where people are moving

As you may remember, we attended a motion capture event last week for Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf. The company doing the mo-cap for EA is called Audiomotion Studios and it's clear that they really know their stuff. They've also been sharing data with Microsoft to help development of Project Natal.

With Audiomotion's cameras costing thousands of pounds apiece and twelve of them placed around the room to capture one person's movement (which is apparently a modest number for a mo-cap event), we had to ask how Microsoft's forthcoming Project Natal (pictured) could possibly come close to achieving the same effect.

Here's how the conversation went between ourselves and Audiomotion's Matt Rank:

GamesRadar: How many cameras do you have here today?

Matt Rank: Twelve cameras.

GR: Twelve cameras. OK, so Project Natal for Xbox 360 has two cameras. Is that going to work properly?

MR: We're working closely with quite a few different people – developers from Microsoft who have been analysing our data compared to how Natal sees it. It's just an approximation. They're just trying to guess where people are moving and how people are moving and what it's actually doing, whereas with us we can measure it to sub-millimetre precision. There's a big, big difference there. And obviously the lag and frame-rate is considerably different as well.

GR: But you think it will work?

MR: I hope it works, yes [laughs].

Above: Audiomotion's Matt Rank has been sharing data with Natal devs

17 May, 2010


  • CH3BURASHKA - May 18, 2010 12:54 a.m.

    I'm confident it will work; it's the software I'm worried about.
  • Evil_AppleJuice - May 17, 2010 6:33 p.m.

    "I hope it works" haha FAIL
  • Tronto13 - May 17, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    @db1331 your looking on it in a very narrow minded way. Just because its a motion senser does not mean you have to jump about. It could be used for example to throw grenades in games with a gesture of your hand. This would free up a button for something else. The possibilities with this tech goes far beyond wii style jumping around.
  • garfunkling - May 17, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    cant really say i'm surprised. if this is accurate Sony could win this whole motion device business by simply living up to the expectations.
  • NoobBuster - May 17, 2010 4:41 p.m.

    @TheIronMaiden if i wanna move, I'll go outside. lol lets hope the natal is good at guessing.
  • TheIronMaiden - May 17, 2010 4:30 p.m.

    no thanks on natal, another overpriced accessory that will have me moving around like a retard when all I want to do is sit there and play my game. If I wanna move, I'll get a Wii.
  • StrayGator - May 17, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    You create air of uncertainty around Natal because you at GR are all Sony fanbois bias bias bias!!!! Seriously now, Natal doesn't aspire to produce MoCap detail. Rather, it's an input method, replacing 2 sticks and few buttons by defining a few keypoints. In mocap studios, on the other hand, they attempt to collect as much raw data as possible. these huge sets of data are then filtered, tuned and processed to produce the clearest, most defined results possible. very much like photographers who often shoot the same picture few times using different settings, and then photosopping one take's highlights on other take's shadows, with another take's reflections...
  • Ridgley - May 17, 2010 4:09 p.m.

    I don't feel like flailing around in front of a camera to play bullshit party games.
  • db1331 - May 17, 2010 1:37 p.m.

    Even if Natal does everything Microsoft hopes and claims, who the hell wants to play games that way? Who wants to play a racing game where they pretend to be holding a wheel to steer? If I went over to somebody's house and they were doing that shit, I would slap the fuck out of them. All Natal is going to do is bring shitty shovelware to the Xbox. No hardcore game will ever work well with it. This is going to be a HUGE flop. Not only are they arriving years late to the motion control party, but they managed to find a way to do it that looks even more retarded than Sony's solution.
  • bluscorp - May 17, 2010 1:32 p.m.

    You thought they would've made it at as responsive as possible, then announce it, instead of jumping the gun just because Nintendo was kicking there ass.
  • ensabahnur - May 17, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    Sounds like a plan, ill make sure that i pick up natal day one for full price of course, i mean whats the worse that can happen.
  • Fiirestorm21 - May 17, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    Well, that didn't help with my skepticism.
  • thesuperspacejew - May 17, 2010 1:22 p.m.

    Well, seeing as this technology's kinda brand new, at least the type used by Natal, the most he can hope for is to "hope" it'll work.
  • bluscorp - May 17, 2010 1:18 p.m.

    Lol, sounds confident. I also hope it works, but i can't see how it can work probably.

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