MoDe :: Motion Descriptors extractor for real-time applications
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Latest commit 9604244 Mar 29, 2017


MoDe is a cross-platform C++ library for real-time feature extraction from Motion Capture (MoCap) data, particularly suited for Kinect devices. It has been developed for creative applications and as such it can be compiled as an addon for openFrameworks.

It uses nearly optimal features proposed by Skogstad et al. for real-time filtering and differentiation. Even though it has been mainly used with Kinect devices, its API allows to provide positional data using standard C++ containers.

Examples and projects for Kinect V1 and Kinect V2 devices are provided for OSX (only V1) and Windows platforms.


All MoDe classes and constants are accessible within the MoDe namespace.


The MoDeExtractor class is used to compute descriptors for a body or set of joints.

MoDe::MoDeExtractor modeExtractor;

MoDeExtractor computes a number of features from all joints. It does not only give access to the current value of descriptors, but also to statistics such as the mean, standard deviation and RMS values. The number of stored frames from which this computation is done can be defined using the setup method. Default is 30 (1 second at 30 fps)


Every time a new MoCap data frame arrives from the device, the update must be called passing a map<int, MoDePoint> as argument. This map contains pairs of joints IDs and positional data for the received frame. MoDePoint objects can cast vector<double>, vector<float> and ofPoint (for OpenFrameworks). Assuming we have an object device where the position of the jth joint at the current frame can be accessed through device.getJoint(j).getPosition(), the way to make ModeExtractor compute the descriptors for the current frame would be:

map <int , MoDe::MoDePoint > joints;
for (int j = 0; j < device.getNumJoints (); j++) {
    joints[j] = device.getJoint(j).getPosition ();


The MoDeJoint class objects contain all information from a joint, including the computed descriptor. If, for example, the right hand joint is associated with a constant RIGHT_HAND, it can be accessed using getJoint as:

MoDe::MoDeJoint right_hand = modeExtractor.getJoint(RIGHT_HAND);


Descriptors can correspond to a single joint (joint descriptors) or can be computed combining information from different joints (body descriptors).

Body descriptors

Currently, MoDe allows to compute the following body descriptors:

  • Quantity Of Motion
  • Contraction Index

Both can be accessed directly from the MoDeExtractor object as:

MoDeDescriptor qom = modeExtractor.getDescriptor(MoDE::DESC_QOM);

Joint descriptors

Joint descriptor are computed from a single joint. The current list of computed descriptors is the following:

  • Position / filtered position (3D)
  • Velocity (3D)
  • Acceleration (3D)
  • Jerk (3D)
  • Acceleration along the trajectory of velocity (1D)

These can be accessed with getDescriptor from the MoDeJoint using constants defined in the MoDe namespace:

MoDe::MoDeDescriptor rh_vel = right_hand.getDescriptor(MoDe::DESC_VELOCITY);

This MoDeDescriptor object now contains different information accessible for the right hand velocity descriptor:

// MoDePoint with current value of the descriptor
// double with current velocity in the y axis
// MoDePoint with mean value during the number of configured number of frames
// double with mean value along the x axis during the configured nr of frames
// double with current magnitude of the velocity vector


The automatically generated documentation is available at


Copyright (C) 2017 MTG, Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya. This code has been mainly developed by Álvaro Sarasúa during his PhD thesis, supervised by Emilia Gómez and Enric Guaus.


Álvaro Sarasúa: