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General cost of character retargeting + cleanup vs keyframe animation

So I've been considering buying a rokoko suit for animating sequences of exercises for an app I’m building. The animations are short and some of them loop so I suppose animations are typically 2-5 seconds long. Simple exercise animations... Think doing jumping jacks or something like that.

Since i'm not a 3d artist/animator, I don’t know how to use tools like Maya or any 3d animation software and would need to hire someone to do the remaining steps of getting these animations retargeted to my character and fitting alongside any props.

I’ve gotten a few quotes for doing this but so far what I've gotten has been the cost of doing this work of retargeting + cleanup seems to be higher than getting these animations done manually without mo-cap.

I find it odd as I would think mo-cap would make this much easier, I mean just the time alone they are saying the retargeting + cleanup takes much less time, yet still more expensive. Now it seems the cost is very prohibiting and that I should just get all animations done manually. I just hate having them done manually because of all the back and forth about how the movements are wrong.

Is this typical or am I looking in the wrong places for someone to be doing this?


  • neilberard
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    neilberard polycounter lvl 17

    Having worked in studios that do mo-cap, that sounds about right. It takes time to retarget the rig, fix issues in the animation and do additional cleanup. You might be better off sourcing from a library like Mixamo, but you would still need to retarget the animations to your character.

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter

    i've only done a bit of animation but from my experience, clean up mocap is not any faster than manual creation - you just get better result for the time. So, in that sense it is faster, but it does not trivialize the amount of clicking one must do.

  • lluc21
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    lluc21 polycounter lvl 5

    Adding to what Neil said, I would say that people that are able to cleanup mocap (people that are experienced and that know what they are doing) are far less abundant than people that "can animate" a fairly simple character (note the quotes on "can animate", anyone can animate with access to 3d software...). There is a huge amount of inexperienced or recently graduated animators/generalists that would be confident enough to animate simple exercise loops of 2-5 seconds, so you could hire a junior or graduate that is only looking to get the hands dirty and work on some real projects for very cheap.

    People that are able and confident enough to do a mocap cleanup and retargeting would usually be experienced people, which means expensive.

    I presume similar amounts of experience/expertise would get you similar costs for both methods.

  • ninjz
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    Thank you guys for the comments. I think I've gotten enough answers now to know that doing the animations using keyframe method would be most cost efficient for me at this time especially factoring in buying the suit and all.

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