Medusa_setup Medusa_resultThe Medusa Performance Capture system, developed by Disney Research in Zurich, consists of a mobile rig of cameras and lights coupled with proprietary software that can reconstruct actor’s faces in full motion, without using traditional motion-capture dots. The technology comes as the result of many years worth of research and scientific advances in capturing and modeling of human faces.

Medusa delivers high resolution 3D faces, with the ability to track individual pores and wrinkles over time, providing very realistic facial geometry that is ideal for creating digital doubles for visual effects and computer games.

Medusa is useful in two primary scenarios: 1 - building an expression shape library, and 2 - reconstructing performance dialog. The following videos demonstrate examples of these two scenarios.

Expression Capture

Performance Capture


Medusa has been used in the following productions.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Solo: A Star Wars Story, 2018.
Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War, 2018.
Ready Player One
Ready Player One, 2018.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017.
Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok, 2017.
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, 2017.
Kong: Skull Island
Kong: Skull Island, 2017.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 2016.
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange, 2016.
Warcraft, 2016.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Out of the Shadows
, 2016.
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book, 2016.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2015.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2014.
Lucid Dreams
Lucid Dreams of Gabriel (short), 2014.
Maleficent, 2014.


Thabo Beeler, Research Scientist
Derek Bradley, Research Scientist
Bernd Bickel, Research Scientist
Markus Gross, VP Research

With special thanks to:
Max Grosse, Research Engineer - for camera software integration.
Ronnie Gaensli, Research Engineer - for Medusa Light Pole design and construction.
Robert W. Sumner, Senior Research Scientist - for research guidance.
Paul Beardsley, Principal Research Scientist - for research guidance.


The Medusa Performance Capture System is based on several recent technological advances created at Disney Research Zurich. We are continually improving the technology to provide the most state-of-the-art capture system in visual effects. For more details on the technology, please refer to the following research projects.

High-Quality Single-Shot Capture of Facial Geometry
High-Quality Passive Facial Performance Capture Using Anchor Frames
Rigid Stabilization of Facial Expressions

For more information on the medusa technology, please contact

Business Inquiries

Medusa is operated by Industrial Light & Magic. For business inquiries, please contact:
Jenna Zarate
+1 (415) 746-2946