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Create your own amazing computer animation simply by playing with action figures

By Master Blaster

There has been a lot of talk about Qumarion especially since pre-orders have been announced to start on 21 June at 15:00. This device, often referred to as a mannequin or action figure (but never the doll word dreaded by boys everywhere), can conceivably allow anyone with basic motor skills to create computer animation on par with the pros.

The maker, Celsys, who refer to Qumarion as a “humanoid input device” may have opened up a whole new medium to people who have the artistic sense but lack the technical know-how to create great computer generated animation.

Anyone who’s ever tried computer animation knows that it takes a fair bit of practice and experience before you can create something decent. The biggest roadblock being the 2D interface to manipulate 3D objects.

Qumarion takes that disadvantage and flips it on its head, with this incredibly intuitive device. It’s just like playing with your GI-Joes. Only this time when you move your figure to do a footsweep, your CGI model does the exact same thing in real-time.

This action figure is fully posable in 16 different locations, each equipped with sensors that allow the computer to mimic how it’s moving or what pose to hold it in. For amateurs it’s a huge shortcut to the world of CGI and for pros it can be an enormous time saver.

Here’s the rub. Pre-orders will be taken for the limited-time special price of 67,800 yen which makes one shudder at what the regular price will be. Granted this is for the “Package” with includes a slew of goodies like detachable hand parts (the kung-fu grip appears to be among them) as well as Celsys’ own 3D editing and animating software, compatible with both Macs and PCs. Considering the included software it’s all relatively cheap.

Plug-ins for popular 3D animating studios like Maya and 3dsMax are set to be released, but likely after you give it a try with Celsys’ products first, wink wink.

Dimensions: 290x108x308mm (width is with limbs fully extended) Weight: 255g Connects to computer via USB

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That said, there's a company that makes 3D motion capture software that doesn't require you to wear a ping pong ball suit. and all you need is four of those Sony Playstation 3 Eye Cams and a computer:

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Specifying one brand of figures hardly counts as "most 12 inch action figures".

Checked out one of the figures you mentioned. One of the selling points was:

"Over 28 points of articulation"

Soooo... that means what? 28.5 points of articulation? They couldn't go with "30 points of articulation"? I guess that pretty much limits their figure to 29 points of articulation, wouldn't you agree? (And no, the actual points aren't listed) One wonders why they didn't want to come right out and say that, then.

Based on the photo, however, it's easy to see where they get some of their additional points of articulation. They've added the ability for the upper legs and arms to rotate around the long axis, independent of the shoulder, elbow, knee, or hip joints. In short, they've added articulation where there is no human equivilent. To me, those additional points of articulation are no better than my GI Joe from the late '60s, because it STILL can result in physically impossible poses.

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Fadamor - Google Hot Toys True Type figures, and they should list the joints for you. At the last count the latest version has 38 points of articulation.

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Only 16? Most high 12" action figures have at least 32 points of articulation.

IIRC, My GI Joe back in the day had: (Counting) 1.) Head tilt (Neck) 2.) Head turn 3.) Left Shoulder rotate 4.) Right Shoulder rotate 5.) Left Elbow bend 6.) Right Elbow bend 7.) Left Wrist rotate 8.) Right Wrist rotate 9.) Waist rotate 10.) Left Hip rotate 11.) Right Hip rotate 12.) Left Knee bend 13.) Right Knee bend 14.) Left Ankle rotate 15.) Right Ankle rotate

I didn't even get to 16 points of articulation! What species is represented by YOUR 12" action figures?

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This action figure is fully posable in 16 different locations

Only 16? Most high 12" action figures have at least 32 points of articulation.

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How about checking, if the weight is 255 kg?

It must be wrong, The list of components in the kit include a modeling stand, but the stand is only a bit larger than the model.

For those of you in Tokyo, the unit will apparently be on display in Akihabara at BELLESALLE on June 10, 2012 (this Sunday). Apparently there will be a "Culture Festival" then.

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master blaster:

How about checking, if the weight is 255 kg?

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In a separate report, Celsys claimed that each figure contains a cube, one angstrom on each side, of black hole material. For "stability."

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Sounds like a fun tool. I hope they sell a ton of them and it becomes a profitable venture.

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I saw this at the Tokyo International Animation Fair a couple of months ago and it looked pretty cool. And that 255kg listed in the article must be wrong ....

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WOW. The figure will fit in a box with 9.6 liter volume. With the given weight of 255kg this far outnumbers even the heaviest elements on earth. So is this an extraterrrestrial invasion?

Well, who ever would assume to play with a little figure with 255 kg weight? How to lift this up the stairs?

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