Motion Analysis Corporation congratulates Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ for receiving primetime Emmy Engineering Award

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Santa Rosa, California, September 2, 2009— Motion Analysis Corporation congratulates their longtime technology partner, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, on winning an Engineering Emmy at the 61st Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards, held Saturday, Aug. 22 in Los Angeles.

The Engineering Emmy was awarded for the remarkably innovative Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a real-time animation system that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real-time, dramatically reducing both animation time and cost. The revolutionary studio features multiple virtual camera systems, real-time animation viewing systems and an industry first: real-time, production quality, full body motion capture system which have been provided by Motion Analysis Corporation, and operated by the production team at Motion Analysis Studios.

This proprietary animation system has been utilized for the production of the highly successful, Emmy-nominated animated children’s program “Sid the Science Kid,” produced by The Jim Henson Company and KCET/Los Angeles, and has enabled the Creature Shop to generate 40 episodes of HD computer-generated imagery within a year.

In producing the series, the body movements of six live suit performers and a dog were tracked and solved in real-time using Motion Analysis’ industry exclusive motion capture cameras and Cortex software. The movements of the actors were mapped onto digital puppets in real-time and the production quality data is streamed live to the Creature Shop’s proprietary viewer.

Simultaneously, puppeteers who voice the characters also manipulate the facial motion and lip synch, using a special mechanical-input glove device developed for the right hand, and a joystick-type device for the left hand. This all works in conjunction with a director, cameras and production crews exactly as it would on a live-action set. The finished production comes together virtually, in real-time, using the Creature Shop’s proprietary software which marries the stage components with the show’s digital environments on the fly. This real-time, production quality process can be replicated for any film, television, game or interactive production as well as live events.

“Several years ago the labeling of motion capture markers and the solving segmental data for six animation performers would have been impossible in our real-time environment”, said Jeff Christie, CG Supervisor for Henson. “With the advancements of Motion Analysis’ technologies as the industry leader providing full-body, production quality optical motion capture, they became a perfect partner for our endeavors,” Christie continued. With their unique ability to stream six or more characters’ production quality segmental data live into our viewer, Motion Analysis became our first choice for providing full body movement to our digital puppets.” “The Sid the Science Kid project is the largest live production quality project involving motion capture in United States television history” said Tom Whitaker, Motion Analysis Corporation’s CEO. “We are pleased that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is recognizing Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for its remarkable engineering achievement and proud to have played a part in digital puppetry’s success”, Whitaker added.

About Motion Analysis Corporation and Motion Analysis Studios

Motion Analysis Corporation ( is the worldwide leader and provider of optical motion capture systems in entertainment, medicine, video games, film, sports, broadcasting, virtual reality, and research. The company was formed in 1982 and has its headquarters in Santa Rosa, California.

Motion Analysis Studios ( is a state of the art motion capture facility dedicated to providing the 3D animation industry with the highest quality motion-capture services available. MAS, a pioneer in character animation services, provides animators and directors from feature films, music videos, television, games and commercials with the best technology and superior motion capture service. Founded in 1999, Motion Analysis Studios is located in Hollywood, California.


Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™ provides performed digital visual effects, animatronic creatures, animation and soft puppets to the international film, television and advertising industries. Based in Los Angeles and New York with satellite shop capabilities internationally, the Shop is known for designing and building some of the world’s best-known characters including Elmo from Sesame Street, Miss Piggy from The Muppet Show, the Baby from Dinosaurs, Rygel from Farscape and the Skeksis from The Dark Crystal. Other credits include Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Are We There Yet?, Five Children and It, the critically acclaimed television series Farscape, The English Patient, 101 Dalmatians, and Cats and Dogs. A recipient of more than 9 Emmy Awards for its outstanding work building puppets for Sesame Street, the Shop also received an Academy Award for its visual effects work on the film Babe. Most recently, the Shop received a Primetime Emmy Engineering award for its work in developing the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a patented control system technology that enables puppeteers to physically perform a computer generated (CG) character in real time. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop completed production of the first 40 episodes of Sid the Science Kid, an Emmy-nominated animated preschool series airing on PBS and featuring digital puppetry technology and season 40 of Sesame Street for Sesame Workshop. For more information, see