Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £29.99 £19.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Capturing people standing still

In this video, Victor and Alexander talk about some of the challenges of capturing the motion of people perceiving music.
We have been looking at how we can do motion capture of musicians but another group of people that’s interesting to the motion capture is perceivers or audiences or people that experience music in different ways. And this is something that you have experienced with Victor. Both in capturing audiences, like in the library setting where we were, or also even capturing audiences in the lab. And what are some of the challenges when you’re capturing audiences with motion capture. Well, when capturing audiences in venues, there are many other challenges that have to do with the practicalities of the place. So to locate the systems to not interfere with the experience of the concert or the performance.
So audiences are not used to being part of experiments normally. So they normally adapt their behaviour. So you have to be aware of that as well. So we have to limit how much we affect the experience because we want them as natural as possible. So we call that ecology. Making the experiment as ecological as possible, so that we get what we want, the pure reactions from the audience. So there are many challenges both practical and also theoretical on how to do this properly. And that’s different when we do it in the lab and when we have just perceivers in a lab. They also know it’s an experiment, so it’s also challenging.
But the settings are more controlled than compared to a venue. So the setup on the cameras and things are the same, but it’s more about everything else. Yes, and the environment and how they feel in the lab or how they feel when they are in an auditorium. So when they’re in the concert, they are there to enjoy. And we don’t want to interfere with that or affect that experience when running a concert. But you have also been running experiments with people where it’s more controlled. And one particular type of experiment paradigm that you have been working with is people standing still. And what have you done then? Yeah.
We ask people to stand as still as possible while we play music or sounds in the lab. And they stand in groups together in the lab. And it’s always counterintuitive. So we’re not used to standing still for long periods, or at least we try to avoid those. Queuing is uncomfortable for example. So we just want them to stand there in silence and as still as possible. So it’s not something that we’re used to doing, so it’s challenging for many of them, for many people. And also the fact that there is this music part coming in and playing. So we have had participants who are unable to not move to music.
That they just want to dance if the music gets too danceable. But the challenges remain and we want them to forget that this is– they are just standing as naturally as possible. And that they don’t instinctively move to– or that they instinctively move to music, but not because they want to dance, but because it helps to move to music. So these are the challenges that we want to face, and we are trying to deal with now here with these statistical data set and the experiments. We want participants to experience music, and we want to know what it does naturally to the bodies. So for that, we need them to forget that they are being measured for example.
Is it really possible to capture people standing still? I mean, this must be very small movements. Yeah, they’re minuscule. But we never are completely still. We breathe, our heartbeats. We have to accommodate our posture if we stand for longer periods. So there’s always these movements that occur. So on top of that, there is a movement that we have to measure that, of course, because of the music or partly because of the music. So on top of these natural movements that happen we are standing still, there is something else that’s happening when the music is being presented, and that’s what we’re trying to understand. And you’ve been measuring people’s head motion.
You’ve been putting a marker on the head, right, and then and then you see people swaying and things. But again, both of them are very small scale. Yep. Yeah. I mean, it’s because the marker is on the top of the head, so we see mostly head sways. But it’s still minuscule unless they really change posture of the head. But they know they are being recorded, they know they have to stand still, so they normally don’t do it. They don’t do gross motions. So it’s normally very small, and we have to really dig in to find what, when, where was the music influencing this movement.
And then we have collected this also in the Oslo standstill database where it’s actually hundreds of recordings. Yeah, we’ve done it for several years now. And every year we have 100 participants. So we have 600 people’s data on how they moved their body when they are trying not to move. So it’s quite interesting, and it’s also interesting to see what people will do with this database in the future because it will be available for everyone to try and play with these data. OK, so as you hear there are many different types of things to think about when you are doing motion capture of audiences or perceivers, whether it’s people standing still or sitting in the audience or moving around.
So that’s also related to whether you are working in the lab or outside of the lab. So it’s not really anything that you can say right or wrong. It’s just different in a way and many different things to think about.

In this video, Victor and Alexander talk about some of the challenges of capturing the motion of people perceiving music.

Over the last few years, they have been collecting a lot of motion capture data of people standing still while listening to music. These data sets are now freely available in the Oslo Standstill Database.

This article is from the free online

Motion Capture: The Art of Studying Human Activity

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now