Clever idea from Japanese firm SoftEther, whose press release is available in English onlyvia machine translation as of this writing. The video pretty much conveys the idea, however. QUMA is rather like an artist’s figure-drawing mannequin with sensors in the joints that report all the articulations through a USB cable. Appropriate software can then position a character’s rigging to match, which seems like it would be both faster and more intuitive than dragging bones around a screen with a mouse.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X365CYZBVSINVCBXCOKV2A3IRM bleppie

    The Dinosaur Input Device gone public! Created for Jurassic Park, used in many films since by Tippett Studios.

    Paper: http://bit.ly/nD0MOh or http://bit.ly/p55fpV or http://bit.ly/qFu34O

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X365CYZBVSINVCBXCOKV2A3IRM bleppie

    The Dinosaur Input Device gone public! Created for Jurassic Park, used in many films since by Tippett Studios.

    Paper: http://bit.ly/nD0MOh or http://bit.ly/p55fpV or http://bit.ly/qFu34O

  • http://www.facebook.com/al.roderick Al Roderick

    I could swear I saw something like this in the future tech section of Popular Mechanics (or possibly Science) in the 90’s. It had fewer joint axes and worked over a serial port, and I think that it didn’t work in real time, rather it “polled” the joint sensors over the course of a second or so when triggered. It was also bigger, and up on a desk armature.

    I’d like to see this implemented with adjustable or replaceable longbones in the limbs, at the very least, so you can tune the proportions of the device to a variety of character sizes. Anime proportions vary even more than living humans, but this seems set up for a 90th percentile teenage action hero(ine) with an oversized bobble head. Or perhaps the company plans to offer multiple variants for different body types if this takes off.

    • http://id.kalleguld.dk/me kalleguld

      As I see this thing, it’s mostly about the joints. So even if your character has long arms and tiny legs, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work for most things. 
      Maybe it will have a problem if you want it to touch its own limbs (touch its toes with its hands, etc), but you still have real-time response from your screen.
      Anyway it still beats doing this with your mouse by a far stretch

  • http://twitter.com/chadvavra Chad Vavra

    Great for roughing it, but no way you’re going to squash or stretch that thing.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_principles_of_animation

  • http://twitter.com/chadvavra Chad Vavra

    Great for roughing it, but no way you’re going to squash or stretch that thing.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_principles_of_animation

  • http://twitter.com/chadvavra Chad Vavra

    Great for roughing it, but no way you’re going to squash or stretch that thing.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basic_principles_of_animation

  • http://id.kalleguld.dk/me kalleguld

    Read the headline: There’s no way you are going to squash or stretch a skeleton :)

  • Anonymous

    Genius!  When I was learning to draw, I got a copy of Poser, and it drove me nuts, since it had no constraint.  Pull the arm through the shoulder?  Sure, why not!  You can easily fix it up, right?!?  This thing would just completely obviate that whole hassle.  

  • Anonymous

    Genius!  When I was learning to draw, I got a copy of Poser, and it drove me nuts, since it had no constraint.  Pull the arm through the shoulder?  Sure, why not!  You can easily fix it up, right?!?  This thing would just completely obviate that whole hassle.  

  • Anonymous

    I WANT ONE NOW!!!!!!!

    Seriously people, you are worried about skeleton stretching???? You get handed the perfect drawing and modeling interface, and you still have to b*tch about it?  Your program will handle the proportions, be they squashed, stretched, anime, human, even troll. the models proportions are entirely up to you, but this will let you pose any human pattern skeleton. You are confusing a software ability with a hardware interface tool.

    Imagine comic artists being able to make a comicbook in hours, with total character consistency from frame to frame. Or artists able to make animation by simply making “key poses” and letting the computer do the frame by frame.

    This just made pen and pencil art obsolete.

  • http://twitter.com/nethunt Kari A. Hintikka

    Cool tool for #3D human animation: Humanoid USB Posing Mannequin for Skeletal Animation from SoftEther via @make

  • Anonymous

    This innovation with animation makes it more clever and easy to use. Animation software is the tool used by these animators to create stunning graphics and real-like pictures and movies. There are many animation software available in the market and some have been proven to create high quality animation. The level of creating animation has stepped up.
    ————
    Lerry
    expert on Illusion Mage Review

  • Anonymous

    This innovation with animation makes it more clever and easy to use. Animation software is the tool used by these animators to create stunning graphics and real-like pictures and movies. There are many animation software available in the market and some have been proven to create high quality animation. The level of creating animation has stepped up.
    ————
    Lerry
    expert on Illusion Mage Review

  • http://www.mphenterprises.co.uk/ Promotional Items

    As we see it, especially in the joints. So even if your character has long arms and legs, tiny, there is no reason to not work for most things.

  • http://www.aquaread.co.uk Water Testing

    That is great … a 3D posing animation . Great idea and it must would be enhance by the makers in future.

  • http://www.aquaread.co.uk Water Testing

    That is great … a 3D posing animation . Great idea and it must would be enhance by the makers in future.

  • http://www.aquaread.co.uk Water Testing

    Its great idea and would be enhanced in future I hope.

  • http://www.aquaread.co.uk Water Testing

    Its great idea and would be enhanced in future I hope.

  • http://www.aquaread.co.uk Water Testing

    Its great idea and would be enhanced in future I hope.