On May 13th 2006, Virtual Entertainment Productions (VEP), a Swiss Production company, went on air with a new virtual, fully interactive, real-time quiz show called "StarJack TV". One year of research and development in Switzerland driven largely by the creative vision of director Yoav Parish, the motion capture expertise of John Klepper, and the technology and support of Motion Analysis Corporation has pushed the boundaries of virtual entertainment. The show demonstrates just how far the new technological advances in real-time have come - three motion capture driven CG characters all interacting in real-time with a live host, live to air.
StarJack TV allows anyone with a phone the opportunity to play on the show and hear and see "themselves" on TV at the same moment they are speaking. The contestant's movements and expressions, represented by actors in motion capture suits, are translated to the CG characters in the virtual set. Here is how it works: The contestant calls into the show and chooses a character from a bank of twenty CG characters. The selected CG character materializes in the virtual set complete with full body motion capture by the actors, facial animation, synced voice of the real contestant, hand animation using wireless gloves, and cloth and hair animation. Each CG character is then asked questions by the host (with the real-life contestant answering) in order to "climb the money ladder". They will remain in the contest until they get a question wrong or chose to leave the show with the money they have won. When a contestant leaves the show, a space is opened for another contestant. The new contestant chooses another CG character and in real-time, it materializes on the set with the other characters and the game continues without delay.