Meet Qumarion, an animation supermodel

One day in the future, we might use sensor-equipped action figures like this one out of Japan to create animations.

Strike a pose with Qumarion. (Click to enlarge.) Celsys

Getting the hang of 3D animation would probably overwhelm most folks, but the foot-tall Qumarion mannequin could radically simplify the process of creating realistic movement in 3D computer-generated models.

The 67,800 yen ($850) Qumarion, set to debut in Japan in a few months, features a robust array of sensors to assist with creating realistic 3D animation. Developed by Japan's University of Tsukuba and University of Electro-communications, Qumarion can pose, flex, sit, stand, or assume nearly any other position imaginable.

Unlike most action figures, the white doll features 16 joints, 32 sensors, and the ability to capture 120 frames per second of movement data. Any pose set by the Qumarion then transmits over a USB connection to custom illustration and comic production software called Clip Studio by parent company Celsys (plug-ins also exist for Maya and 3ds Max software).

"We expect the software will be used when drawing 2D illustrations, for example," a Qumarion representative told Diginfo.tv. "You could give the model a pose with Qumarion, and use this 3D character as a rough design, and draw by tracing over it. That was our initial motivation for developing Qumarion. But it could be used for 3D as well, as an input device for drawing key frames and creating movement."

I hope that prospective buyers of the Qumarion mostly have legitimate animation in mind.

 

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