Setting the stage for biomechanics
The LIVE (Large Interactive Virtual Environment) Lab is a unique 106-seat Research Performance Hall located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is designed to investigate the experience of music, dance, multimedia presentations, and human interaction.
The theater is acoustically isolated and is one of the quietest spaces of its size anywhere in the world. Complete control of the acoustic environment is accomplished using a Meyer Constellation sound system.
At the push of a button, the sonic environment can instantly change from a small classroom to large cathedral. These changes can have a large effect on the experience of both the performers and audience. The theater is also fitted with a number of measurement technologies that can be used record a variety of responses. EEG, ECG, EMG, respiration and galvanic skin response (GSR) can all be measured and synchronized together with our Qualisys motion capture system
The Qualisys system consists of 32 cameras set up to capture both members of the audience and performers on stage. The stage can also be used as a standalone motion capture area, with all 32 cameras capturing precise motion details. Both the theater and the adjoining dance studio have allowed the group to study dance and movement.
Single dancers as well as large groups of multiple dancers are captured.
Mocap helps the researchers analyze how musical expression is conveyed through musicians’ movements, and facial expressions of emotion during acting.
The Qualisys system tracks every minute detail of the musicians movement during a performance.
Measuring Theatrical Performance
Some of the projects that have been possible with the use of motion capture include: how the head movements of fans at a rock concert influence other audience members sitting nearby; leader-follower coordination dynamics
in string quartets; how musical expression is conveyed through musicians’ movements; and facial expressions of emotion during acting. Researchers have also used the motion capture in the LIVELab to track fine movements during synchronized drumming.
Studies have also been run that combine our Qualisys system with our Noraxon EMG sensors to look at muscle compensation in individuals suffering from chronic pain.
The lab’s innovative combination of technologies has been used to study everything from acting to Parkinson’s disease to hearing aid technology. In addition to research, the lab has been used as a space to host concerts that include unique uses of technologies including motion caption, ranging from opera to electronic.JJ Booth
Want to know more?
Visit the LIVELab website for more innovative examples of motion capture theatrical performance measurement.