Key Release: Xsens' MVN Awinda & Link

The mo-cap specialist rolls out its latest, most advanced products to date
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Mo-cap expert Xsens has revamped its flagship range of products in the form of the new MVN Awinda and MVN Link.

Awinda is a collection of inertial motion sensors that attach to key parts of the body like arms, legs and head via special straps, while Link is a traditional full body motion capture suit.

The biggest improvement in the new versions is the quality of data captured. While previous models captured motion at 120Hz, both Awinda and Link now capture at 1,000Hz.

The dramatic increase in accuracy has also enabled new factors to be taken into account.

“The old systems assumed the suit’s trackers were on a flat floor so we revamped MVN Studio with a completely new Motion Engine,” explains product manager Hein Beute.

“This new engine detects vertical data when doing things like walking, hanging on a bar, climbing or even walking. This will save animators a lot of time since it eliminates the need for cleanup after recording.”

Improved accessibility is also a key selling point. MVN Link now has stretchable zippers that grant easier access to the sensors, and both models feature much smaller, lighter trackers, making them more comfortable for actors during long performances.

ON LOCATION

The MVN line is famed for its robustness on outdoor shoots, and Beute says the new versions are no different.

“MVN Link’s wired trackers can now withstand a force of up to 50kg due to a strain relief construction using Kevlar-reinforced wires. Additionally, the suit’s Body Pack can now withstand a load of 100kg with new rugged connectors.”

The suit’s wireless range has also been greatly improved, and the systems now have a buffer time of two minutes: even if an actor goes out of Wi-Fi range, all motions will still be captured. And battery life has been more than tripled to six hours in Awinda and 9.5 hours for Link.

The MVN range has been used by a wide range of studios around the world, including Sunset Overdrive dev Insomniac Games. Beute says Xsens’ customer base has been instrumental in shaping these devices.

“The new product line has been built from the ground up; it is a completely new hardware platform,” he says.

“We’ve listened to feedback from our users to reinforce the aspects they loved in the last system, while also making the jump from pre-viz to production-quality. It’s easier to work with, more accurate and faster than ever before.

“A new user is able to set up an MVN system within 30 minutes with our quick guide. So now they can take a professional mo-cap studio anywhere.”

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