We are surrounded by body language, in every moment of every day. From passing the time people watching at the airport, or observing how co-workers are reacting during a meeting, we are being perceptive – and possibly reactive – to our reading of body language.
The Michigan State School of Journalism is leading by globally pushing the boundaries of fact-based storytelling, from multimedia to the visuals of photography and video. The newest frontier of powerful journalistic storytelling is Motion Capture, helping journalists document and produce layered stories. Motion Capture reads and documents body language, pairing state-of-the-art professional technology with one of the oldest forms of communication in all species on our planet.
The addition of Motion Capture technology, and the new Immersive Media newsroom, brings MSU’s J-School to the forefront of innovating newsgathering. Noitom’s Perception Motion Capture system will be part of MSU’s program, thanks to a groundbreaking partnership reached with the China-based company in early December.
“We are extremely excited about this opportunity working with you and anticipate all of the innovative possibilities that lie ahead,” said Susy Ferrer of Noitom.
MSU’s JRN 492, Motion Capture for Storytelling, course and the Animation and Comics in Storytelling Media minor, open to all undergraduates at MSU, will use Noitom’s systems.
“Our students in MSU Journalism’s animation and motion capture courses are already utilizing the Perception Neuron technology and suits and have been excited to watch their characters come to life in real time,” said lead Motion Capture/Immersive Journalism Professor Stacey Fox. “We are excited to partner with Noitom Perception Neuron as we increase our motion capture technology offerings for students and build our animation, sports and immersive journalism programs.”
Motion capture comes in many forms. The basic principle has a subject’s movement recorded within 3-D space, such as MSU’s new Immersive Media room, using Perception Neuron’s 32 inertial sensors (called “neurons”) placed at specific joints on a body. The information is transmitted to a computer, where the animator works to render the 3-D image into a dynamic format for different platforms of journalism.
“There are so many exciting and intriguing possibilities with this technology,” said Professor Joanne C. Gerstner, the Michigan State’s Sports Journalist in Residence. “Having the Perception Neuron as a storytelling tool allows us to teach students to be even more revelatory in their storytelling. Instead of simply describing a big sports play, we can take it to the level of showing the bio-mechanics to take the audience truly inside.”