Spectrum Studios

Spectrum Studios was founded by David Bawel during the height of the Dot Com boom. Unlike many companies founded in that era, this one had a solid business idea: combine several businesses releated to motion capture in a single studio setting, including: commercial motion capture, software training in motion capture animation tools and most forward looking of all, produce realtime, online, animated entertainment using motion capture.

To create realtime 3D animation, Spectrum built models of their characters in the Kaydara Motionbuilder software, then used motion capture to animate them onscreen. In the system's first incarnation, the onscreen images were compressed and streamed out to the internet with Real Player. However, the quality limitations drove Spectrum to consider: if it looks this good onscreen here in the studio why don't render it at the end-user's home? Even in 1999 it was clear that 3D graphics on PCs was getting cheaper and faster.

For the studio, Ron designed and implemented software to stream realtime 3D animation from the studio to end-users. The software was written as a set of plug-ins for Kaydata Motionbuilder, written in C++ on Windows 2000. Both 3D motion and synchronized audio were combined in the outgoing stream and decoded at the receiver.

Unfortunately, as the first demonstrations were completed it was clear the Dot Com bubble had burst. Spectrum's investors shuffled management and killed the project in an effort to focus on the core business of motion capture services. They were one of the contractors to "The Matrix" film project. Sadly, after this project completed Spectrum closed its doors.