Sunday 21 January 2018

The Simpsons will air live with motion capture

The Simpsons
The Simpsons

Paul Mallon

An upcoming episode of The Simpsons on Fox is set to include a live element using the latest motion capture technology

Yes you read that headline right, The Simpsons will be live!

How? Well Fox is planning an upcoming episode which will include a special three minute slot at the end featuring family guy Homer Simpson responding directly to current events and fan questions. It's going to do this through a combination of motion capture and 2D animation. The gist is that voice actor Dan Castellaneta will be responding off the cuff in his own Homer-y way while wearing a mocap suit. His actions and voice will be translated live (or we imagine almost live) into reference data which will be used to power the 3D model of the popular character.

It sounds pretty bizarre, and it's also an indication of not only the amount of money Fox is still willing to throw at The Simpsons but also the lengths they'll go to draw in an audience. Castellaneta will even be on board for the live element for the West and East coast broadcasts of the show, which is scheduled for May 15th 2016. Real life people will be able to submit their questions for Homer with #homerlive - though that won't be checked until early May.

Expect to hear a lot more about this in the next few months.

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