Hardware/software engineer co-owns Motion Workshop, maker of the Shadow full-body motion-capture system.
What do you do? I’m the co-owner of Motion Workshop, a small business focusing on motion sensor technology and motion capture. … Our main product is the Shadow full-body motion-capture system. (Shadow) records and live-streams your body’s animation to a digital skeleton, which can be used for game/film visual effects, sports training, virtual reality simulation and biomedical applications.
For my part, I’m a hardware and software engineer, so I focus mostly on design, manufacturing and sales.
How did you get started in that field? I got a B.S. in computer science and looked around for jobs in CG and visual effects for film. It’s really hard to get your foot in that door, but I ended up landing a job at Industrial Light and Magic. It was an amazing opportunity and experience to work on films such as the Star Wars prequels, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean, to name a few.
What’s a typical day like? Our office is in the heart of Pioneer Square in an old warehouse building from the gold rush era. A typical day involves copious amounts of coffee, email, writing and debugging software/hardware, supporting customers, and of course, sales and marketing tasks.
What surprises people about what you do? I think that even I am still surprised at how much marketing and sales effort is needed to sell a unique and useful product. Build a better mousetrap and the world will definitely not beat a path to your door — not without concerted social media efforts, lots of video chat, email and telephone conversations.
What’s the best part of the job? I get to play with VR and motion capture equipment every day! It’s exciting to create new tools for people to use in 3-D content development. Because we’re a small company, I end up doing a lot of varied tasks each day. It keeps both me and my business partner on our toes.