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3D animation technique could help Ford improve car designs

on Wednesday,December 23,2009 22:12

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When one thinks about motion-capture technology the image that typically runs through our head are fluid movements performed by CGI characters in movies like Avatar, or video games like Uncharted 2. Yet American automaker, Ford, has another idea for the revolutionary technology - as a tool for improving car designs.

Ford uses up to 50 motion-capture sensors per test subject to study the typical movements and reactions of the average driver. The company then uses that data to run thousands of simulations to study the whole range of human interaction with their car.

The goal is to design a more ergonomically accommodating driving experience that will improve customer satisfaction.

"The technology enables us to evaluate many vehicle exterior and interior alternatives in a virtual environment from any location - in the driver''s seat or hundreds of feet away from the vehicle - with animated characters and vehicles," says Elizabeth Baron, a VR specialist working in advanced visualizations for Ford, in a statement to Motor Trend Magazine.

The company is currently testing the impact of the technology, to examine the possibility of expanding the usage of 3D animation tools in further car designs.
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