Which Sensor that NImate supports will give me best tracking performance?

Hi. I’m a new user here. I’m looking to do body motion recording for indie game development in Blender. NI Mate seems to have everything I need: Blender Integration, Body and hands tracking. It’s the best alternative to a $1.5k - $2k mocap suit I’ve been able to find, especially on an indie budget.

I have a few questions:

  1. What is the best sensor for me? Currently experimenting with Kinect 1 as it was cheap for 2 of them for 30 bucks but I am currently only able to test 1 in the trial. The accuracy is not the best but I don’t know if it will improve that much with a second sensor. It’s especially moo on tracking shoulders. Kinect 2 go for 100 - 200 bucks in Canada and ebay with tax and import. I’m on Windows 10.
    I have a fair budget for a sensor and so far my Xbox 360 sensor seem to be working but a bit wonky and tracking is a bit unstable. I’m also not sure about the lack of limb orientation. It seems like the orientation is being calculated based on joint positions which is kinda generalized and a lot of motion character is lost. This can be observed especially in lack of head rotation. It just follows the torso. I feel like this is an OK solution on a tight budget. But if I’m buying a sensor, I think maybe it’s a good idea to not cheap out. What is recommended to use with NI that will give me top stability and reliability of body? I already got myself a Leap Motion controller for hand tracking. What sensor should I use?

  2. Is NI mate still being supported or is it being phased out completely? I saw a few posts about something like End - on - Life but I don’t know if it was referring to NI or the sensors.

Hey there!

The tracking accuracy, on Windows, is likely the best with Kinect 2, although the level you see with Kinect 1 isn’t much worse, and if your budget is tight, I wouldn’t recommend the update as the improvement is likely to be superficial. There are the obvious issues compared to a full motion capture solution, such as the need to face the sensor and multiple sensors interfering with each other.

The orientation is indeed calculated in software based on joint positions.

NI mate 2 is an end-of-life product and won’t receive any further updates. There are a few other products out there that do motion capture with depth sensors, although the tracking quality isn’t likely to be better in any of them.

I see…

What about those other options, the non Kinect sensors? Are they really worse in tracking quality?

They use the same tracking library as Kinect 1, so the quality is the same.