Motion capture workshops inspire students
August 2 2023 | Legacy Project
Creative Assembly's Legacy Project has grown a reputation for best practice in industry education outreach. Through the project, Creative Assembly Ambassadors run a range of initiatives to support high quality education. These activities include working with education establishments on curriculum design, holding events for parents and educators to address industry misconceptions, and in-studio workshops.
One initiative invites local schools to participate in a motion capture experience, specifically designed to provide students with a broad view of how games are made, and how they might design their own.
These workshops provide an opportunity for students to experience working at a games studio while learning about the different roles and skillsets needed in a development team.
The workshops involve two main activities:
Students develop their own cinematic scene, using top of the line industry equipment. Some will wear specialist reflective suits within the motion capture volume (the space being captured), and others will direct the movement; seeing this transposed onto ‘rigs’ on screen. This is done under the direction of the Creative Assembly Motion Capture team. The students then get to see their final scene played out in a 3D environment with characters from the Total War franchise.
The students will design their own video game from start to finish, considering all the different roles involved in creating a game. This is done through an interactive, collaborative activity guided by a Creative Assembly expert.
For the students involved, these workshops serve as an opportunity to learn from professional game developers, opening their eyes to career opportunities in games whilst making links to their existing curriculum. For the Creative Assembly experts supporting these events, the experience is an opportunity to share their knowledge and passion with future generations of game makers.
Matthew Murdoch; Senior Motion Capture Technician said;
“We love giving students of all ages the opportunity to experience the joy of motion capture, getting to see your scene played out after the culmination of planning is always fun. The students get so excited when they see themselves running around and interacting virtually and of course they also learn about some of the most advanced technology within the entertainment industry.”
Case study: Northlands Wood Primary School
On Tuesday 16th May 2023, Creative Assembly invited 24 students from Northlands Wood Primary School, a local school in West Sussex, to participate in a motion capture workshop. Two groups of students designed a range of inventive video games from start to finish. Through the process they considered the different roles and skillsets needed to make a game including soft skills such as collaboration and time management. The students were highly engaged throughout and the enthusiasm of both staff and students was infectious.
Later that month, Creative Assembly's developers visited Northlands Wood Primary School to launch a ‘Makey Makey’ game design competition. Makey Makey kits are an engaging, hands-on invention kit designed to connect everyday objects to computer keys: using a circuit board, alligator clips and a USB cable, the kit enables students to create a unique game controller that can be used in Scratch. Makey Makey introduces students to basic principles of programming while allowing young minds to be creative in their inventions. For the competition, students were provided with more detailed information about the different disciplines in the games industry and were left with Makey Makey kits to support them in developing their own games and controllers.
Mark Sears, Headteacher at Northlands Wood said;
“I am so grateful of the support and interest Creative Assembly shows in furthering the development and learning of our children. They absolutely LOVED the opportunity to come to the Motion Capture experience day, taking away so many inspirational thoughts and ideas. The children were also so enthused and interested in the Makey Makey workshops. I had the privilege of supporting a couple of their sessions as they developed their games and controllers and the eagerness and energy they showed towards it was immense. You have started quite a journey for a number of our coders and computer programmers!”
Creative Assembly’s Legacy Project aims to inspire the next generation of game development talent. To find more about the outreach opportunities available at Creative Assembly click here.