Perception Neuron, the versatile and affordable motion capture system by Noitom has opened the doors to quality VFX for filmmakers working on any scale. Award-winning New Zealand-based director, Pete Circuitt, is currently seeing his short film, Twenty One Points, screened at the Show Me Shorts Film Festival in New Zealand. The film, about an awkward, social misfit who is best friends with an imaginary animated robot named Gary, used Perception Neuron to bring the animated character to life on screen. Circuitt credits the motion capture tool for being "absolutely crucial" to making his film.

"The workflow is straightforward and robust. It's a wonderful system and I recommend it to everyone," says Circuitt. "It's the second mocap system we have developed but the first that is wireless. The difference between the wireless Neuron system and an optical system is vast. Not just in the infinite staging of your capture area but in calibration times. Typically you can't stop a live action shoot for 30 minutes while you calibrate, and Perception Neuron requires just 10-20 seconds. Brilliant."

Perception Neuron has been touted by professional animators and VFX creators since its official launch in 2014. The full body, sensor-based motion capture system can run from just a single computer with no tethering and without need for an optical tracking system. Priced at just $1,500 for its 2.0 version, Perception Neuron has been used by motion capture artists around the world. The bodysuit-free system has also made its way into larger-scale productions like Logan and Game of Thrones where previz supervisors and directors have used it to plan or enhance their shots.

"One factor not often talked about—but I think is sometimes relevant—is that the actor does not feel self-conscious in the skintight bodysuit common in optical systems," adds Circuitt.

Perception Neuron uses IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) sensors to track the movements of the actor. The sensors are placed on the body with a set of straps that coordinate with different sections of the body (head, arms, torso and legs). Since Perception Neuron does not require optical cameras or a tracking space, directors and animators have more freedom in the way they can create their scenes. The system has also become popular with video game developers and animators alike due to its full-hand motion capture capability. Perception Neuron also speeds up the process for collecting the motion capture data giving artists more time to complete their projects.

Two years ago, Twenty One Points, (then still in production) was selected as "Judge's Favorite" for Perception Neuron's "Set Your World in Motion" contest. Circuitt and his crew were gifted with two full-body Perception Neuron systems to complete the film. Circuitt is considering making a feature-length version of Twenty One Points and will continue working with Perception Neuron in his future projects.

Twenty One Points is currently being screened at New Zealand's Show Me Shorts Film Festival which runs until October 28th. The film stars Alan Thomson and Rohan Glynn who donned the Perception Neuron motion capture suit to play the robot, Gary. Dan Brown worked as the film's robot design and technical direction.

Watch the Twenty One Points official trailer here.