VSU Professor Shares Gremlin Creations In Retzhof Castle, Austria


VSU Professor of Dance, Eric Nielsen, has been invited to an International Dance, Theatre and Technology Conference at Retzhof Castle, Austria.  During the four day conference, Nielsen will present his program entitled, “Creating a Choreodrama Using Motion Capture Technology.”

This presentation documents the collaboration efforts, between Art Professor Hollis Barnett and Nielsen, in creating a choreodrama (story based choreography) using motion capture technology.  The presentation will be a lecture/video presentation which will culminate in a discussion with participants attending.

The purpose of this presentation is to help educators and students understand the availability of this technology, site problems and discoveries in working with this technology, and reveal the accomplishments that were achieved through a collaborative team project.

Attic Antics, the title of the choreodrama, premiered October 3, 2013 in Sawyer Theatre at Valdosta State University.  The creation of this unique animation required the use of three software programs. Motion capture was achieved with “Motive” software by NationalPoint Inc.  The mixing of the captured motion onto these characters was accomplished through “Motionbuilder” by Autodesk. The building, manipulation and animation of the characters were completed with LightWave 3D modeling and animation software by Newtek, Inc.

The collaborative team consisted of Art Professor Hollis Barnett, who teaches motion capture technology in VSU’s Art Department, and Professor Eric Nielsen, who conceived the choreodrama.  Professors Sarah Arnett and Catherine Schaeffer, two VSU dance faculty performers, were recruited to create the motion capture segments, and five student dancers, performed live on stage and interacted with the projected motion capture animations. Student dancers included Kristen Keebler, Malana Kegley,  Kada Mitchell, Antoinette Williams, and Elizabeth Adams.

A video presentation showing the creative process that took place will be supported with dialogue by the presenter on problems and discoveries as well as providing photo shots that will enable the audience members to see the details of the animation that progressed during the short timeline that was given in producing this choreodrama.