Computer Graphics World

Edition 2 2018

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D E P A R T M E N T 30 cgw | e d i t i o n 2 , 2 0 1 8 F or Canadians, hockey is more than a pastime – it's a way of life. From a young age, many Canadians learn to skate. It can become as natural as walking to some, but the reality is that skating – and especially hockey – can take its toll on the human body. Over the years, there have been several attempts to document the physical stress that skating, and specifically the game of hockey, can inflict. But there has always been an obvious and prohibitive obstacle: How do you conduct delicate, scientific research in the cold, on ice? The Ice Hockey Research Group (IHRG), working out of McGill University in Montreal, found the answer to exactly that question when it turned to motion-capture company Vicon. Mocap on Ice The IHRG was created to evaluate the ergonomic and mechanical function of skates, sticks, and protective equipment in respect to performance and safety when used by people on the ice. A research partnership with Bauer Hockey, Ltd. and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) provides both financial and testing materials, which has enabled the development of a unique graduate biomechanics program focused on human performance measures of ice hockey equipment. The problems with filming skaters on ice are numerous. The cold temperatures and humidity can wreak havoc on delicate equip- ment over time, and attempting to create a temporary and portable solution involves placing wires and other objects on the ice, which are hazardous for the skaters. Previous studies have attempted to re-create the movements of a hockey player using synthetic ice or a skating treadmill, but these lacked the validation of what it is actually like on the ice. It also limited the strides of people on skates, which on ice tend be around 5 meters (16.4 feet). In 2014, Dr. David J. Pearsall, IHRG director and associate professor of kinesiology and physical education at McGill University, decided to risk the ice and try Vicon's motion-capture cameras and soware. The IHRG team began by re-creating an ice rink using synthetic ice in order to get a sense of where the cameras needed to be placed and how they should be positioned; then once they were confident that they had the right configuration, they prepared for the real thing. "The Vicon setup on the ice replicated the in-lab configuration on a larger scale," explains Philippe Renaud, IHRG research assistant. "This included extra safety measures, such as added weights to tripods for greater stability and suspended cable bridging over the skating ice path, plus special gloves to type on the computer in the cold. It worked out really well." The Vicon system initially consisted of T-Series cameras running THE ICE HOCKEY RESEARCH GROUP STUDIES THE EFFECTS OF HOCKEY ICED OUT NO MORE

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