Motion Capture Shoot Supervisor

  • Motion Capture Shoot Supervisor

The motion capture shoot supervisor is a specialist working in video game development who is responsible for the pre-production planning and execution of mocap production. He or she works directly with the game designers, animation leads, and other creative staff.


In cooperation with game leads, the motion capture shoot supervisor takes the point position in outlining a pre-production and shooting schedule, renting and prepping motion capture equipment, and hiring or assigning additional crew. He or she is also tasked with establishing the budget for all mocap production in accordance with the budget in place for the game. Among the first production priorities is supervising the photo texture acquisition and working closely with the motion capture artist to ready the mocap stage for principal photography. According to level designs and the game script already in place, the supervisor will assign crew to place practical set pieces or props to be used on the stage. The shoot supervisor participates in casting for actors and stunt performers, as well as directing their performances—with the input of lead animators and designers—during capture sessions. From initial planning to completion of motion capture, the process can take as long as 12 weeks for games like EA’s Fifa 09 or Capcom’s Resident Evil 5.

As a senior-level manager, the motion capture shoot supervisor is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations on the mocap stage and for assessing the performance of the cast and technical crew. He or she must closely monitor the schedule and budget as established, and regularly report to the game’s producers and creative director concerning the progress of production. Similar to the film and television production process, the supervisor reviews samples of the day’s work to ensure quality of recorded motion capture footage and sees that the data is properly collected and stored. All images and data that are collected during motion capture are managed through the pipeline to artists, animators, and programmers by the shoot supervisor. He or she will oversee the wrap of production, which will include reconciling invoices with rental equipment vendors, compiling payroll information for temporary staff and cast, and issuing financial reports to the game producer.

Skills & Education

A college degree or equivalent professional experience in game design, film and television production, or animation is recommended. The mocap shoot supervisor should be familiar with the game development pipeline and processes in place at the studio, and should be skilled in the use of standard mocap equipment and techniques. A talent for directing performances and collaborating with performers is crucial, and can be honed in college theater and film courses or through participation in workshops and other professional training. Working in a game development studio necessitates some knowledge of animation systems and software tools used in association with motion capture and game development. 

What to Expect

Many game development studios have an in-house motion capture facility and employ a full-time staff dedicated to mocap production. In other cases, third-party production companies are contracted to produce mocap assets on behalf of the developer and in cooperation with assigned studio staff. Therefore, those interested in a career as a motion capture shoot supervisor may find employment with a game company or with a studio that caters to the video game industry as well as film and television. The processes of mocap for games are similar to that of film and TV, so experience in either industry is desirable in this career. As this is a senior-level role, candidates should have at least three years of experience as a motion capture artist or a related role and one shipped game title or film to his or her credit.


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