Motion Capture Research

In the Spring of 2012, a fellow research member and I researched methods in motion capture for physical therapists under the supervision of Dr. Diaz.


  1. Remove the subjective opinions of physical therapists.
  2. Ease the therapy of patients undergoing physical therapy

The research began with the use of a motion capture “arena” which had 18 cameras and the appropriate motion capturing software, Motion Builder.

We saved the Biovision Hierarchy (BVH) files which contained the frames and appropriate skeletal data. The

The next step…

It was decided that the BVH files would be imported into a custom developed software which would analyze the BVH file and then compare the skeletal animation to a theoretically healthy skeletal animation. After the comparison, a report would then be generated to determine if an improvement was made.

The result…

A program was built using LWJGL. The program accepted BVH files, analyzed the files, produced animations to a GUI, and reported any differences in the BVH files. These differences could be used to determine if patient therapies were helping the patients.

Since we used BrekelKinect and an Xbox Kinect for motion capture and exporting BVH files, we were able to theoretically ease any patient discomfort from therapy.

Screenshots from the program:


skeletonView bvhAnalysisOutput bvhCanvasView1 bvhCanvasView2