Workstations - OpenGL Acceleration
Meta Motion specializes in providing motion capture solutions that are optimized for workstations running Windows® XP Professional and Windows Vista and Linux. The hardware and software we sell can be integrated with Linux, Macintosh, Irix and Unix systems as well, although support for these platforms varies from product to product.
For real-time rendering in MotionBuilder, the more powerful the workstation, the better. Workstation 'power' is a combination of several factors: CPU, OpenGL display card, and RAM.
Since Dual and Quad Core CPU’s are now so affordable it makes a lot of sense to use this latest CPU technology, even for applications that are not multi-threaded (in this instance the application runs on one core and the Operating System runs on another core).
OpenGL display card
MotionBuilder users are getting excellent results with graphics cards based on the nVidia Quadro and GeForce and chipsets. Quadro officially supports workstation graphics for a variety of animation programs. GeForce cards can often provide good results at a lower cost but users will need to test the results for themselves.
Though 512 Meg RAM is a practical minimum for most situations. Larger amounts of RAM are worthwhile (considering how inexpensive 4 Gigabytes of RAM on two sticks has become) for deluxe systems dedicated to doing live performance.
OpenGL and the need for acceleration
There is a definite advantage to using software and hardware that offers real-time rendered display of motion capture on actual 3D characters. This helps the actors and directors get immediate feedback on the actors motion and resulting capture.
MotionBuilder allows keyframe animators to see their results immediately, without rendering, thanks to its real-time animation abilities.
OpenGL acceleration is essential to working with MotionBuilder, and extremely beneficial for modeling in 3D animation programs that utilize it. The other acceleration offered by good graphics cards is Direct-X.