Performance Capture


A sequence of movements that can be seamlessly looped. Can be used to depict a virtual character walk or other repeatable actions.


A device that records and/or streams rotations. Attached to the moving parts of a crane this would give us a solve of the camera position. Also useful in deriving linear translation in the case of a dolly move or the telescoping portion of a crane arm.

Facial capture

The capture of facial expression using a head mounted camera or other methods; a part of performance capture.

Facial performance replacement (FPR)

A form of facial capture intended to replace an original facial performance while retaining the original body performance.

Fiducial marker

A reference object with a known size and a unique pattern, similar to a QR code, that certain camera tracking systems can recognize and use to calculate their relative position.

Four-dimensional (4D) capture

A recording of a performance from multiple angles over a period of time. Typically using a synchronized array of cameras, lights, and sensors surrounding the subject. See also volumetric capture.

Hand capture

Capture of 3D hand movements using gloves with sensors, haptics, or visually; a form of performance capture.

Head tracking

The method used by a head-mounted display to project the correct image by tracking a user’s head movements via gyroscopes, sensors, cameras, etc.

Head-mounted camera (HMC)

A special camera rig designed to capture an actor’s facial performance.

Jerk and Jounce

Derivatives of acceleration and sometimes important issues to filter out when doing motion control.

Motion capture (Mocap)

A process for recording and solving the position and orientation of humans, props, and cameras in space and time. The most common mocap technique used in virtual production is a camera based system with passive markers. Other techniques can be based on inertial sensors, active markers, tracking marks, or solely...

Motion capture suit

A special costume with sensors used to capture human performance movement to puppeteer virtual characters. Sensor types include retro-reflective markers for optical tracking and inertial motion sensors.

Motion data

The raw data derived from performance capture for use in visual effects, blocking, visualization, etc.

Motion processing

The clean-up of raw motion capture performances to eliminate errors or artifacts from the original capture.

Motion study

The observation and analysis of the motion of an object or character to aid in reproducing it virtually.

Performance capture

A combination of techniques used to capture an actor’s entire performance, including facial expressions, head, hands, and body position.


A pre-production motion capture session used for motion studies and to help guide previs.


The application of performance capture data to a CG character’s skeleton; can be used to convert motion captured such as from a human to a larger character.


The process of converting motion captured at one rate to another; useful for synchronizing mocap captured in different sessions or deriving slow-motion or high-speed frame rate effects for virtual shots.


A 1:1 correspondence between a physical space and a virtual environment.


The feeling of immersion within a virtual environment when using an HMD.

Virtual character

A humanoid, animal, or other living creature whose animated movements are created in real-time via the input of a human operator via performance capture.

Virtual rapid prototyping (VRP)

A previs process which leverages virtual production techniques, and enables a small crew to plan, shoot and edit sequences in real-time using actors in mocap suits.


A category of markered props used for aligning physical sets/objects to virtual counterparts; can be used to drive static non-markered objects within a volume.

Zulu set

A physical set or prop designed for actors to interact with and stand in as a proxy for a virtual asset. Sometimes built at different scales to accommodate for major size differences in actor to character. This term was coined and still in use by the Avatar team; also referred...