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Perception Neuron Pro Test footage and mini review

Posted By Dr. Nemesis 3 Months Ago
Rated 5 stars based on 3 votes.
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Dr. Nemesis
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A few weeks back I was asking on the forum if anyone had used an Xsens mocap suit with Iclone. After some research the software licensing cost was too high (though the suit price itself was good).
A few days later I was told about the Perception Neuron Pro. I liked how it looked and it was cheaper than the cheapest Xsens.
I've had it for almost a month now.
I threw together a bit of a lazy compilation of the first 2 days of tests, and then I used it to shoot a scene .


I'm really happy with the results and it's definitely speeding up production of my movie. I didn't have the PN 1 or 2 so I can't compare it to that but things have been a lot better, faster, and easier than with Ipisoft, which is what I was going to use until I realised my second computer was too old and just couldn't record from two 360 kinects at the same time without dropping frames. I can't really think of any way the ipi software wins out, except that it's cheaper which wasn't a win for me since it couldn't do the job. I couldn't do fight scenes with it, which was my biggest concern. In the test I did a few punches to test out if it'd be fast enough to capture that and it was good, though I wont be recording a fight scene for a few weeks atleast.

The scene footage is WIP and the mocap has been cleaned though not always completely.
Cleanup has been fairly easy. I don't use the Iclone plugin since the computer I capture on is too old for Iclone 6 or 7. All clips were exported from Axis Neuron Pro and imported to Iclone via bvh.

Pros
-Wireless so range of movement is not an issue unless you need to go a stupid distance.
-Quick to set up, put on, or put away. No messing with a router, the suit has a dedicated radio transmitter. Neurons turn 90 degress to put on and take off from straps.
-Easy to maintain. comes with huge antimag travel case, all sensors calibrate at the same time.
-Good quality capture for this tech, though I don't have other IMU suits to directly compare to.
-Computer specs needed to run capture software are really low (my second computer is quite old), especially in comparison to Ipisoft, which I can barely use with one 360 Kinect now.
-Company replied to my email quickly when I had a question.

Possible cons
-Price. It's not for poor people, though there's the cheaper 2.0 suit.
-It's wireless (a pro) but that means it runs on batteries. If you need to record for many hours at a time you'll need to stop and recharge the neurons. I've never needed to do that so far though.
-It's not completely immune to magnetic interference. In the video there's a point where I sat down close to my fridge (for testing purposes) and it does indeed lose it's awesomeness a bit, though this was to be expected.
-If you need fingers there isn't a capture solution with this suit yet. I hate finger cleanup so wasn't a problem for me as I use hand gestures at all times.


Lamias
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Thanks for this review! In a couple of months I will purchase a PN suit as well, so this review is really helpful.

Could you please elaborate on two parts?
1) How did you clean up the motions? Did you only use the cleanup tool inside the Axis software?
2) I didn't quite understand what happened with finger motions. Could you please explain?

Thanks again!!




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Edited
3 Months Ago by Lamias
animagic
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Thanks for the test, Dr. Nemesis.

@Lamias: I believe there are separate gloves for finger motions with additional neurons for PN 1 and 2.

I wonder if that will be added to PN Pro, because I find that a bit of a drawback. Also, do we know if Pro works with the iClone plugin?


https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/1a09220f-ab50-42ac-ad1a-33ec.pnghttps://forum.reallusion.com/Uploads/Images/d14339d0-cd32-4b35-88f9-40a0.png


Dr. Nemesis
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Lamias (8/6/2018)
Thanks for this review! In a couple of months I will purchase a PN suit as well, so this review is really helpful.

Could you please elaborate on two parts?
1) How did you clean up the motions? Did you only use the cleanup tool inside the Axis software?
2) I didn't quite understand what happened with finger motions. Could you please explain?

Thanks again!!



Np.
As for your questions, the motions can be generally smoothed within Axis Neuron but that won’t fix any big wobbles or pops, which will occasionally happen. For that the f curve editor in Iclone is essential. Selectively reducing the number of keys works great.

Finger motions - As animagic said the suite doesn’t have gloves so won’t capture those. A solution to that will be coming, supposedly later in the year but that’d be an additional purchase.

Animagic I can’t answer your last question for sure since I won’t get the plugin but there’s a vid on YouTube of the PN guys using a Pro and 2.0 suit in Iclone at the same time.
illusionLAB
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do we know if Pro works with the iClone plugin?

No experience here either but considering iClone is only receiving a stream of data from Axis software I can't imagine how that would look any different than the other flavours of Neuron hardware - that is, the Axis software is what iClone is connected to not the sensors themselves.


Lamias
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Thanks for replying!!

So, you are saying that the cleanup inside the Axis software + the curve editor optimizer yield good results when used together right? Of course I understand that there is an occasional wobble, or a big motion hiccup here and there, but generally these two options are a good strategy. Right?

Also, what is the difference between PN PRO and PN 2.0 that was released a few months ago? I am a bit confused.




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kungphu
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Dr. N thanks for this! Was the video of the footage in Axis Neuron Pro raw and what we saw in iclone the cleaned motion? This looks great aside from that pesky foot. I’ve seriously been looking at this solution. If the video in axis Pro is raw, that’s a bit better than what I get with my PN suit.

For the other questions:
As Ani pointed out the PN Pro doesn’t have fingers, it’s similar to the Xsens with just hand movement. I contacted Noitom about this and they mentioned that they are supposed to have a finger solution “soon.”

I specifically asked Noitom if the pro suit would work with the iclone plugin. Their answer was yes. As Illisionlab mentioned, it’s streaming from Axis Pro so I’m theory, it “should” work.

The biggest difference between PN 2.0 and PN Pro is $2,500! Smile The PN 2.0 is their second generation suit based on the original PN system. It’s a bunch of small Neuronsyou put into straps that you put on your body. It’s gen2 of their first PN suit and is supposed to give better performance but it is still sensitive to magnetic fields. If a neuron is compromised you have to remove it and calibrate it one by one. It’s a PITA for me to do so with my suit. If you want to use it wirelessly, you need a usb battery pack and a wireless router. Plus you have to set up the router with your computer etc etc. The PN 2.0 comes with optional gloves for finger/hand animation. It’s $2500 for the 32 neuron suit which covers body and hands. the new suit (Pro) is their higher end suit. Like Xsens it doesn’t offer fingers. The motion is supposed to be smoother. It comes out of the box with wireless capability. The neurons are really big and easy to put in. Plus the case is magnetically shielded. If you want to calibrate, you just rotate the case and all neurons are calibrated at the same time. The Neurons are resistant to magnetic fields but like Dr. N mentioned they can still go wobbly on ya if close to appliances. The cost is $4500, but it’s being offered at $4000 as an early bird price.



My "NEWEST" LatestSmile  Movie Made With Amaaaazing iClonehttps://youtu.be/WkSApmyyvQI

Dr. Nemesis
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Lamaist, yes, the two together are a good combo and yes most but not all of it had been cleanup up in the Iclone footage.

Kungphu, np! Yes the Axis Neuron footage was raw. The cleanup that axis Neuron does wouldn’t really be noticeable from that camera distance. It’s definitely useful when the camera is gonna be a medium or closeup though.

As for the difference between the 2.0 and pro? It fundamentally comes down to speed. I mocap for 1 day every week now and will be doing that for the next few months. It was essential that I could put the suit on and use it fast, take it off and get to work on the clips. As Kungphu explained the 2.0 suit isn’t that quick to work with unless you leave the neurons on the suit and I wasn’t about to be that careless with something this important.

Secondly, and this is the bigger deal, the Pro is magnetically shielded which meant it was likely to produce smoother results. I’m making a 70 minute film. Money I could’ve saved buying a 2.0 would’ve been wasted several times over when spending longer on the cleanup. Professionals in our field can easily make $300-$500 a day. It isn’t really worth saving a couple thousand dollars and then having to waste extra time on cleanup.
If this is a hobby, that math maybe doesn’t add up, I dunno.

As for the feet getting wonky I’m starting to think this is a result of it not knowing my measurements. I’m now seeing It screwed up because I sat down, less because I was next to the fridge. I need to get my body measurements in and see if this makes an improvement (I believe it’ll be significant).
Edited
3 Months Ago by Dr. Nemesis
sonic7
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@Dr. Nemesis .... Nice of you taking time to post these tests! Even for those of us not getting into this atm - it's still great to see what results can be achieved ... so thnx Smile  btw, the red 'spheres' that appear on the ankles when each foot contacts the floor - are they some sort of 'clamping' feature to prevent feet slipping? are they produced within the Axis software?

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Lamias
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These replies are very helpful guys, thank you for taking the time to post!

I have a dilemma: I am a hobbyist, so 4.000 dollars is a big amount to spend for a hobby. However, my heart tells me to buy the Pro suit because making movies was my dream since I was a little child, and the one thing I can't stand in IClone are jittery motions. They destroy the realism and the immersion immediately in my opinion.

You guys said that PRO produces smoother results, right? That's the bigger deal for me, which tips the balance over to PRO. I would hate to have spent 2000 dollars and find out that the 2.0 suit produces jittery results that could have been achieved with ipi soft, and would need much cleaning to be aesthetically pleasing.

Also, could an owner of the original PN suit (or 2.0) please inform us how long does it take to put on the suit, calibrate it and be ready for mocap?

Thanks again for informing us!!




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