Radical And Incremental Innovation Of Motion Capture Film Studies Essay

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
Wordcount: 1600 words

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This Case Analysis consists of the deep analysis on the important topic of the best motion capture technique ever. As the revolution of making the characters on the film has developed over the time, and the final version of it makes the huge amount of profit. Thus, our group sees the important of this revolution and predicts that in the future this technique would develop much faster. Those are the reasons why we choose the motion capture to analyze and the next are vital analysis of motion capture.

Radical and Incremental innovation

The revolution of making film expresses both radical and incremental innovation. The radical innovation consists with creation of new products that express a step change in capability and that may have significant impact on society. In case of making film expresses, at the first period, the directors produced the cartoon by drawing pictures on papers or taking photographs of clay models and presented them via the computer such as Cinderella, Walt Disney and The Nightmare before Christmas respectively. Then, the radical innovation was occurred by the advance technique called “Motion Capture” which can bring dreamed character into life and the first 1″computer-generated imagery movie that used motion capture for all actors is The Polar Express.

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In contrast, radical innovation actually involves much incremental innovation – technical modifications to an existing product, process or system and sometimes known as evolutionary innovation. In our case, the incremental innovation is expressed by innovating in Motion Capture itself. The Avatar is the great example because Weta Digital and James Cameron use the new technique such as Simulcam to create the great realistic characters in the movie. Even though, it is not that different to consider being the radical innovation, but it shows the new generation of motion capture by using the advance technology which much better than previous motion capture technique, for example, the better of the picture in Avatar than The Polar Express. Then, it can consider being the incremental innovation.

Dominant Design

“After a technological innovation and a subsequent era of ferment in an industry, a basic architecture of product or process that becomes the accepted market standard.” In case of the motion capture technique which Weta Digital and James Cameron use for making Avatar shows dominant design, because Avatar is the first full length movie that using motion capture to generate realistic 3D characters and using the new technology devices called Simulcam. Furthermore, Avatar makes the profit up to $2,709 million1 created the new first making money movie in the world which the previous one is Titanic. As the motion capture of Avatar uses the advance technology that cannot copy easily and Avatar can generate the fantastic profit, consequently, it is a dominant design.

Competitive advantage of Weta Digital and James Cameron

The fundamental nature of competitive advantage is the application of superior skills and/or resources into positional advantage over competitors which creates effective performance outcomes (Day and Wensley, 1988). Since the great technology on motion capture of Weta Digital shows the superior performance compares with its competitors and the huge successful of Avatar which makes the fantastic profit as the first making money movie, thus we can conclude that Weta Digital and James Cameron have competitive advantage over the competitors in the market, both film market and motion capture market. While Weta Digital is holding the position of competitive advantage, many directors absolutely would want to hire Weta Digital to help them produce the movie, and then Weta Digital can set the high price as it wants.

For the benefit of James Cameron, as he is the director that always develops the quality of his movies such as motion capture and the technique of making the films, and his movies usually get the high returns, finally, James Cameron can get the position as a competitive advantage among the film’s directors. This would reflect the higher amount of people watching his next movies and gain the better profit.

Product Innovation and Process Innovation

The final motion capture of Weta Digital and James Cameron can be considered as both product innovation and process innovation.

Product innovation

“A product innovation is the introduction of a good or service that is new or significantly improved with respect to its characteristics or intended uses. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, incorporated software, user friendliness or other functional characteristics (OECD, 2005).” In our case, Avatar performs the next generation of motion capture which much better than the previous one. As we can see the former example of motion capture in The Polar Express movie, there are the big differences from Avatar such as the picture, the feeling expression of the actors, the realistic and the natural looks. In addition, from the audiences’ point of view, in Avatar sometimes they feel that the motion capture models are the real, however, in The Polar Express; they cannot touch the realistic from the movies. Therefore, these are the reasons that we can conclude that Avatar motion capture perform the product innovation.

Process innovation

“A process innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method (OECD, 2005).” This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software.” Avatar motion capture innovation shows the important of process innovation which it increases a simulcam for merging the 3D fusion camera, and adds the virtual camera system. These would generate the live action on the monitor and create the very realistic pictures for the movie. Consequently, the process innovation of Avatar creates the perfect movie for customers.

Market Pull and Technology Push

The technology push model is a simple linear model that suggests that the innovation process starts with an idea or a discovery – it is sometimes called ‘idea push’ (_060″Figure 1). Sometimes this is by a creative individual who has the knowledge and imagination to realize its significance and the practical skills to transform the idea or discovery into an invention. James Cameron and Weta Digital create Avatar and motion capture used in Avatar follow Technology Push Strategy which Cameron first produces Avatar, and then builds customer needs by doing a promotion after finishing production. Actually, Cameron would like to produce this film since the last 10 years before the real starting time, but on that time there is no motion capture technique to create the realistic picture as today. Thus, he had prolonged the project for 10 years until the motion capture technology can satisfy his imagination, then he starts the project. These show that Cameron creates the technology first, and creates market later.

Figure 1: Technology push model

Disruptive Technology and the New Standard of Making the Film

The new technique of motion capture which is used in Avatar film can be considered as a disruptive technology because it is the new motion capture technology that creates the realistic characters and it is much better than the previous technique of creating animation. To illustrate, the previous animation technique before motion capture is to take photographs of the clay models which can see in the movie “The Nightmare before Christmas”. In this film, the producer team has to make numerous of clay models and these are absolutely not comfortable and the final picture is not look realistic and not natural. On the other hand, the new generation of motion capture that was created by Weta Digital and James Cameron is easily to use, because the censors that attach with the actor are wireless and can transfer the movements and the characters to the monitor in real time. Furthermore, the pictures look realistic and the movements are so natural.

Disruptive Technology Graph2

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology

From the disruptive technology graph can explain that the use of disruptive technology will increase over the time. Then, the use of previous technology will gradually reduce. In addition, we can conclude that the disruptive technology comes to destroy the previous technology. The reason disruptive technology can do like that because its technology is much better until customer forget about the switching cost, and change to use new products.

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Consequently, motion capture of Cameron in Avatar has set the new standard of making motion capture film. This creates the new generation of advance technique which other directors must consider when they would like to produce the motion capture movie. Moreover, the trend in the future of using the previous animation technique will gradually reduce because of the inconvenience and the second quality picture. Then, future trend will be the using of the final version of motion capture thanks to its convenience and its greatest realistic picture, as the new standard of the film.


Lets write conclusion later. Couldn’t think of anything. I am sorry. Peer group won’t mind. We will include in final report.


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