Skip to main content

Dollars Mocap: Full Body Webcam Motion Capture (Including Hands and Fingers) For iClone and Cartoon Animator

TET demonstrating Dollars Mocap's webcam hand motion capture.
Even though I should be further away from the camera
Dollars Mocap MONO still does a good job of 
tracking my arms, hands and fingers.
Ever since I wrote my series on becoming a VTuber, discovering it was possible to do full body motion capture, including hands and fingers, with just software and a webcam, I've been on the look out for any motion capture software that can bring that functionality to Cartoon Animator.

Dollars Mocap is a low cost motion capture application with a free trial that I learned about through the YouTube Channel Digital Puppets and their test video. It can record full body, upper body, arms and hands, and facial mocap from a live video source or pre-recorded video.

Investigating further, I discovered not only does Dollars Mocap have a free iClone7, iClone8 character profile file download (look for it at the bottom of the main program download page), so you can use the saved motions with iClone8, they've also got a demo video for how to convert your motion capture for Cartoon Animator.

Dollars Mocap comes in five different versions:
  • MONO - Face and Body Motion Capture (webcam).
  • DEEP - Same as Mono but supports certain Depth Cameras (not iPhone though).
  • EGAO - Just the Face Capture part of Mono - Completely free online use.
  • VIVA - Motion Capture with VR equipment.
  • MOTS - Create 3D motions from text prompts - also free but requires some hefty computing specs and storage space.
MONO is the one I've been testing, using their free trial account, which requires you to login every time you start the program, and limits the length of recording motion capture to about 20 seconds at a time before having to restart the software.

To purchase MONO it's a one time payment of US$99.00 for life time access including future upgrades, no limit on number of installs, and you no longer need to be online to use it after a successful login.

Dollars Mocap for Hand and Finger Motion Capture

I'm not going to take you through every step for how to use Dollars Mocap here. The software is actually very easy to learn. For hand and upper body motion capture just make sure all the button icons match mine in the image below:

Dollars Mocap MONO User Interface Labeled.
All of the settings are pretty easy to work out. Showing the face capture window
is optional since you can't import the facial motion capture into Cartoon Animator.

While Dollars Mocap can perform both full body motion capture and facial motion capture what sets it apart is its ability to motion capture upper body motions including arms, hands, and fingers with just a webcam. Prior to this the only option for Cartoon Animator was to buy additional hand mocap hardware.

Unfortunately Dollars Mocap can't capture live hand movements (or any kind of motion capture) directly into Cartoon Animator. Currently you can only record motions with Dollars Mocap as .BVH files (which are saved to the application's program folder automatically) and then convert them to 3D .rlMotion files with iClone8 or 3DXchange7, that you then import into Cartoon Animator.

Garry Pye's Stan Demonstrating Upper body, Hand, and Finger Mocap created with Dollars Mocap MONO.
Garry Pye's Stan demonstrating
upper body, hand, and finger
mocap created with Dollars
Mocap MONO. Click to Play.
That said the results are still very good, and open up the possibility of creating your own library of very specific motion captured hand gestures, not represented in the bone hand templates. Watch my YouTube Short Demo using Garry Pye's Stan.

It would be a game changer if Dollars Mocap made a Cartoon Animator Direct Plugin so we could skip iClone and live puppet characters (with full facial mocap) directly. Maybe in a future update. There's certainly a market there for them.

How to Convert Dollars MONO .BVH File to .rlMotion

If you have iClone8 just follow Dollar Mocap's own video (below). Skip over this for to how to make the conversion with 3DXchange. Either way you'll need to have downloaded the Character Profile for iClone7, iClone8 from the Dollars Mocap Download Page before you start.

Note that they tell you to select a front facing character in Cartoon Animator. This isn't actually essential since you'll be taken into the Import 3D Motion editor where you can adjust the angle of the motion to match the angle of the character you've chosen.

Converting with iClone 3DXchange7

Step by Step instructions for converting your motion capture file.
Visuals to help you with the step by step
instructions. Click to enlarge.
If you are fortunate enough to have a copy of 3DXchange7 (which is no longer available since all of its functionality was built into iClone8). Follow these steps: (again you'll need to have downloaded the Character Profile for iClone7, iClone8 from the Dollars Mocap download page).

  1. Open 3DXchange and drag your recorded .BVH file from Dollar Mocap onto the stage.
  2. In the Modify Window, scroll down to Character (N) and under Character Setup click the Convert to Non-Standard button.
  3. At the very top of the conversion window that appears you'll need to click the load button to import the Character Profile for iClone7,iClone8. Once the bones change color, leave all the other settings as is and click the Convert button down the bottom. 
  4. Click the Okay button to the message window that comes up and ignore the message to click the Apply to iClone button. This will just open iClone and import the bone model with no animation. To convert the motion capture we don't even need to open iClone.
  5. If you want you can preview the motion in 3DXchange by selecting the motion in the Perform Editor window (in the Modify Window) and then clicking the play button on the player bar.
  6. To save the motion select Export from the file menu. In the window that appears make sure only Export Animation is checked. If you wish you can change the Destination to Other and browse to a folder so you'll know exactly where to find your saved .rlMotion. Click Okay and you're done with 3DXchange.
  7. Open Cartoon Animator and place a character with Bone Hands on the stage - characters with sprite hands are not compatible with hand motion capture. Drag your save .rlMotion file onto the character.
  8. The 3D Motion Editor window will open with the motion linked to your character. You can now adjust and preview all the settings until you get the motion looking its best, at which point you click Apply to Timeline and you're done.
Dollars Mocap is not exclusive to any one application. There are a number of applications you can use it with including Blender and several VTuber apps, making its one time purchase price seem even more valuable.

Let's hope either Dollars Mocap or Reallusion make a profile for their Motion Live 2D plugin that supports live motion capture directly with Dollars MONO to Cartoon Animator real soon. I know I'd buy that in a heart beat.

o---o--- ---o--- o---

Did you find this article useful?
Subscribe to my newsletter and get the
latest articles delivered to your inbox.


Popular posts from this blog

Inochi2D - Free Open Source 2D VTuber Avatar Rigging and Puppeteering Software (Part 1)

Inochi2D Creator - Free Open Source VTuber Software. If you've been looking for a way to live perform as a 2D cartoon avatar on camera, whether it be for a live stream or for pre-recorded content like educational videos, then VTuber software is a low cost (or even no cost) option worth looking into. In my previous post, How to Become a VTuber - 2D and 3D Software for Creating and Controlling Your Avatar , I took a brief look at the relatively new but completely free and open source Inochi2D  which I thought showed great potential for my own needs of creating a live performance character rig for my own TET Avatar that I use for all my promotional materials. While it is possible to live perform my character using Cartoon Animator itself, Reallusion's MotionLive2D capture system isn't great - with lip sync in particular. More importantly though, I can't exactly teach people how to use Cartoon Animator if I'm using Cartoon Animator to control my Avatar. What is Inochi2D

Prome AI Sketch Render Tool - Your Tradigital Clean Up and Colorist Artist for Character and Background Design

Random character head, Biro sketches drawn by TET (left). Render by PromeAI (right) using Prome's Sketch Render tool set to 'Comon:Cartoon, Render Mode: Outline'. W hile I don't do New Year Resolutions, one of my plans for the year ahead is to do more of my own art. Specifically character design drawn in an actual, physical sketchbook.  To that end, I have been spending the last half hour of most days drawing a page or two of random biro sketches in my sketchbook and posting the pages to my Instagram account  (this link will take you to one of my posts). These sketches are mostly practicing my skills because I don't really draw regularly anymore. Here is a tip, if you do this kind of sketching, and push yourself to keep doing it, you will see many drawings that could be taken further, even if you don't have anything they're suited for just at the moment. Which is where my second favorite AI Image Tool (after )  PromeAI comes into play. PromeAI

Moho 14 Released - Still the Best 2D Animation Software for Indy Animators on a Budget

Moho 14 Released. Regular readers know I am a Reallusion, Cartoon Animator advocate through and through. Hands down I would recommend Cartoon Animator 5 first over Lost Marble's Moho 14 to anyone who is just starting in 2D animation, is a team of one, or just needs to animate as quickly as possible. However, feature for feature, Moho is, arguably, the best 2D animation software for the rest of us who can't justify a Toon Boom Harmony , or Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (and even with their applications Moho is very competitive on features). You can get started with Moho Debut for just USD$59.99 which is a cut down version of Moho Pro but it still has the most essential features needed for 2D animation. While Moho Pro is a whopping USD$399.99 (Cartoon Animator, which only has one version, is just USD$149.00) upgrades to new version numbers come down to a quarter of the price at USD$99.00. Even though Reallusion just released features like Motion Pilot Puppet Animation and

Start Your 2D Animation Side Hustle - Sell Your Cartoon Animator Characters, Props, Scenes, and Motion Files in the Reallusion 2D/3D Marketplace

Have you thought about starting a side hustle selling your original Cartoon Animator assets in the Reallusion 2D/3D Marketplace ? In this article, the first in a series on selling in the marketplace, I'll give you an overview of what's involved, why you should give it some thought, and whether you can earn enough to quit your day job (or at least have a worthwhile side hustle). If you're an artist with any kind of drawing skills, and you're creating your own original characters, props, scenes, and even motion files for your Cartoon Animator projects, then setting up your own store in the Reallusion Marketplace should be a no brainer. You're making content already, it doesn't cost you anything to set up, and Reallusion only takes a 30% commission from each item sold. (If you think that's a lot, I'll address that further down). Don't be put off if you think your art skills aren't up to professional standards. There are plenty of artists with naïve

Wonder Unit Storyboarder - Free Storyboarding Software for People Who Can (or Can't) Draw

Wonder Unit Storyboarder.  As an independent and solo animator I'm always tempted to try and skip storyboarding my animated shorts because they're usually only single scene sketch comedy type jokes. As a result I have many unfinished projects that kind of petered out due to having no clear finishing line. Storyboarding your productions, no matter how small, gives you a step by step guide of every shot that needs to be completed (no planning shots as you animate). It also allows you to create an animatic that gives you a rough preview of the finished production. In short, you shouldn't skip storyboards as they, generally, increase the chance of the project being completed. Disclaimer - I'm Not a Fan of Storyboarder Upfront, Wonder Unit's Storyboarder  is not my preferred storyboarding software. However it's completely free, has a number of very compelling featu

Can't Draw Characters? Create Highly Detailed Characters from Simple Drawings and Prompts Free with Realtime Canvas by Leonardo.AI's   Realtime Canvas. Create highly detailed images from simple drawings. I f you've had an idea for a character but don't have the artistic skill to design it yourself, or the budget to hire someone to do the design work for you, then's Realtime Canvas may be your new creative partner. Sure you could use's regular text prompt to image generator but that can be very hit and miss, and may take many generations before you finally craft a complex prompt that's getting something close to what you had in mind. Realtime Canvas, on the other hand, lets you craft a simple text prompt and draw a rough image, both of which you can keep refining until you get a final, real time, updated image that looks close to (and probably better than) what you had in mind. Using Realtime Canvas Once you've signed up for a free account with  (which will give you 150 free credits, renewed daily), click on Realtime Canvas, from the side