MoCap at CCC first in state

Article by: Janet Paulson

Clackamas Community College is pioneering high-tech motion capture technology classes this winter term. It’s the kind of technology that’s used in leading video game studios, Hollywood blockbusters like “Avatar” and legendary digital effects studios like Lucasfilm.

Andy Mingo, director of CCC’s Digital Media Communications (DMC) program, and SuperGenius game art production studio will demonstrate the new technology at the Governor’s Office of Film and Television on Thursday, Dec. 5. Dancers and martial artists will “suit up” in the motion capture – or “mocap” as it’s known in the industry – gear while cameras film the actors interacting with animated avatars.

With the help of Clackamas County’s Public, Educational and Government (PEG) cable franchise fees granted to CCC, and in partnership with Oregon City’s SuperGenius, CCC is in the process of purchasing a motion capture system that will be the first of its kind in the state.

“It’s been a long process, but we’re very excited to get it up and running,” Mingo said. “It will be a huge leap forward for us.”

The motion capture technology at CCC will provide the training and equipment to support the state’s growing movie, gaming and animation industry. Technology is driving changes in the way these media are produced, distributed and viewed. Adapting to these changing technologies is important to continued growth in the industry sector in Oregon, according to Vince Porter, of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television.

KGW recently ran a news story on CCC's new motion capture system and the DMC program, featuring instructor Andy Mingo and KGW business reporter Joe Smith in MoCap suits!

Check out the story, "Clackamas CC invests in 3D tech"

In Oregon, companies that need motion capture technology have been turning to California or the Seattle area. The new technology at CCC will change that, Porter said.

“Andy and his team saw an opportunity, and the community made the investment to make it a training program for future workers,” Porter said. “It’s great this is happening through a community college, where there’s a long history of addressing changing needs in the workforce.”

CCC started its DMC program five years ago as the creative services industry in the Portland area was taking off. The DMC program offers several fields of focus including: audio and sound engineering, broadcast journalism, film studies, graphic design, music and sound for media, video production and Web design. Students in the program have gone on to work for the Portland Trailblazers, Nike, MTV, and Funnelbox, and to work on numerous commercial projects and films.

The addition of the motion capture class will provide a training that has not been available in Oregon before.

The Motion Capture class, DMC 250, is a project-based course that will prepare students to work in the field of motion capture. SuperGenius has partnered with the DMC program initially in an instructional and advisory capacity, and has helped develop the appropriate curriculum for technologies such as motion capture.

Students in the motion capture class will learn how to create professional level, 3D-based motion capture driven projects that can be used in video game development and the motion picture industry. In the future, CCC hopes to increase educational opportunities through internships with video game and visual effect studios working in partnership with the college.

The Governor’s Office of Film and Television end of year party takes place on Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 123 NE 3rd, Suite 210, in Portland. For more information about motion capture technology at CCC, contact Andy Mingo at

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