Import Vicon CSV motion tracking recordings into Blender
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README.md

Vicon Motion Capture Importer

Blender addon for importing motion capture data stored in CSV files exported by Vicon Tracker.

Install

Click on the "Clone or Download" button on this Github repo and select "Download ZIP." Then install the addon in Blender via the Addon tab of the User Preferences dialog. Check the checkbox on the newly imported addon to enable it. For more general info about installing and using Blender addons, please see the Blender Manual

Usage

Import menu option

To use the addon, select the Blender object you wish to map the motion tracking data to and select Vicon CSV (.csv) under File->Import. The motion capture data will be used to animate the active object as a series of keyframes.

Import dialog options

In the resulting dialog select the CSV file containing the exported motion capture data. On the left sidebar, specify the motion capture data frame rate and optionally the name of the tracked object to import. If no name is given, the addon defaults to the first object to appear in the CSV file.

If the frame rate of the Blender scene does not match the motion capture data's framerate, the addon will perform simple interpolation to compensate.

Recording Process

These instructions were written for Vicon Tracker version 3.5. Beyond performing the standard object setup and camera calibration workflow, there are a couple extra settings to be aware of before making recordings.

System Settings

Under the System tab, double check the system frame rate. Since the frame rate is not exported with the motion capture data in the CSV, it will be necessary to enter it manually when importing into Blender.

Recording Settings

Next, start the recording from the recording tab. Vicon Tracker does not automatically load recorded trials, so use the Load Trial button under playback to open the take you wish to export.

CSV Export Settings

Before exporting, open the advanced settings in the Export CSV section and check that the angle representation is set to Helical. This section also has options for selecting what frames and objects to export. Once everything is set, click Export. The outputted CSV file should be ready for importing into Blender.

Appendix - Rotation Modes

Vicon Tracker's default rotation angle representation is the "Helical" representation. This is simply a compact version of the common axis-angle rotation representation. The Helical rotation is represented as a non-normalized 3-vector, with the direction of this 3-vector encoding the axis of rotation, while its norm (length) encodes the angle of rotation in radians.