Project_Medusa_setup Project_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.

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, please contact