Quick Start Guide: Getting Started

This guide is designed to kick-start your capture experience. Overall motion capture workflows are summarized in this page to help you get familiarized with the system. Major pipelines are divided into hardware setup, software setup, calibration, marker setup, and capture. Detailed information regarding each pipeline are elaborated in separate workflow pages. There are numerous features available to improve your capture experience, and not all functionalities are listed in this page. Read through the workflow pages after you have familiarized yourself with the system.


Hardware Setup

Preparing the Capture Area

Before setting up the system, it is necessary to prepare and clean up the environment for best capture results. Most importantly, you need to minimize extraneous light sources or harsh reflections from the capture area, because they may be detected by the cameras. First of all, avoid reflective flooring since LED illumination from cameras may be reflected by it. If this is not an option, use rubber mats to cover the reflective area. Then, cover open windows and minimize incoming sunlight when capturing indoors. Also, remove unnecessary obstacles that might interfere with the camera views. Items with reflective surfaces or illuminating features should be removed or covered with non-reflective materials in order to avoid extraneous reflections.

For more details, read through Hardware Setup workflow pages.


Cabling and Load Balancing

USB systems wiring diagram.

USB systems: When placing cameras, keep cable length restrictions in mind. USB cameras must be connected to hubs with cables not to exceed 5 meters in length. The hub must be connected directly to the computer with no more than one 5 meter USB cable and up to two 5 meter active USB extensions for a total of 15 meters between the computer and the hub. Additionally, OptiHubs require external power, and synchronization cables must be connected in a chain between OptiHubs. When connecting hubs to the computer, ensure the cameras are evenly split between the computer's USB controllers to optimize available bandwidth. The controller each camera is associated with can be viewed in the Device pane.

Ethernet system Wiring diagram.

Ethernet systems: Ethernet cameras are subject to the limitations of the PoE (Power over Ethernet)and Ethernet communications standards, meaning that the distance between camera and switch must be less than 100 meters. Separate Ethernet camera network traffic from the office/local area network. If the computer used for capture is connected to an existing network then use a second Ethernet port or add-on network card for connecting the computer to the camera network. For best performance do not connect devices other than the capture computer to the camera network. Add-on network cards should be installed if additional Ethernet ports are required.

Read more about cabling each system component from the Cabling and Wiring page.


Software Setup

Software Installation

Download the Motive software installer from the Motive Download Page. Run the installer and follow its prompts. Activate your software by launching Motive (once installation is finished) and clicking on the License Tool button in the Motive splash screen, or by using the OptiTrack License Activation Service. If you are new to Motive, read through Motive Basics page to learn about basic navigation controls in Motive.

NOTE: Anti-virus software can interfere with Motive's ability to communicate with cameras or other devices, so should be disabled or uninstalled after installing Motive.


Placing Cameras and Hubs

Cameras should be placed around the capture volume so that markers in the volume will be visible by at least two cameras at all times. Aim cameras so that their views overlap the most in the region where most of the capture will take place. When using tripods or camera stands, ensure that they are placed in stable positions. Any camera movement after calibration will require recalibrating the system. Cable strain-relief should be used at the camera end of camera cables to prevent potential damage to the camera.

See also Preparing the Volume.


Camera Calibration

Click the Layout → Calibrate menu (CTRL + 1) to access the calibration layout.


Ensure that the volume is free of unwanted objects, and that all light interference has been physically masked off. Click Block Visible to use software masking to block any light sources or reflections that remain in the volume. Click Start Wanding to begin wanding. When the system indicates that enough samples have been collected, click on the Calculate button to begin calibration calculations. When the Ready to Apply button becomes enabled, click Apply Result to apply the calibration and save it to a file.

Read through the Calibration page to learn about detailed steps in the calibration process.

Marker Up

Place the markers onto the subject and make sure markers are attached securely. If you are using a mocap suit, put on the suit and ensure that it is as tight as possible. Motive derives the position of each body segment from the markers that you will place on the suit, so preventing the shifting of markers as much as possible is important.

For more information on best practices in placing markers, read through the Marker Setup page.

Define Skeletons and Rigid Bodies

To define a rigid body, simply select three or more markers in the Perspective View, right-click, and select Rigid Body → Create Rigid Body From Selected.

To define a skeleton, have the actor enter the volume with markers attached at appropriate locations. Select the marker set you wish to use from the drop-down in the skeleton pane. The Skeleton pane will then show a model with desired marker locations. After verifying that the marker locations on the actor correspond to those in the Skeleton pane, instruct the actor to strike the calibration pose (Insert link here for t-pose/a-pose). Create the skeleton by either selecting all the markers for the desired skeleton in the 3D view, or ensuring that only the desired actor is in view, then clicking Create.

Click the Layout → Create menu item (top right) to access the model creation layout.



Read through the Assets and Labeling page for more details in the creating assets for tracked subjects.

Record Data

Once the volume is calibrated and skeletons are defined, now you are ready to capture. Press the dimmed red record button to begin capturing 3D data. This button will illuminate bright red to indicate recording is in progress. Once data is captured, you can reconstruct, edit, and export your data in C3D, BVH, or FBX format for use with most 3D software.

click the Layout → Capture menu item to access the capture layout




Label Data

Markers associated with Rigid Bodies and Skeletons are labeled automatically. Unconstrained markers can also be tracked, but need to be labeled manually. These markers can be grouped into MarkerSets - a collection of labels. MarkerSets are recorded with a take. Each marker is then labeled manually after the 3D reconstruction. Note that markers can be labeled both during Live mode (before capture) and Edit mode (after capture).

Read through the Assets and Labeling page for more details in the creating assets for tracked subjects.