Natal is 'trying to guess' where people are moving

As you may remember, we attended amotion capture event (opens in new tab)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

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.