NatNet: Sample Projects

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NatNet: Sample Projects is under development. It will be available soon. Thank you for your patience!



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This page lists out the NatNet sample applications provided with the SDK and provides instructions for some of the samples. The code samples are the quickest path towards getting NatNet data into your application. We typically recommend you:

1. Identify your application’s development/interface requirements (managed, native, etc).
2. Adapt the NatNet sample code from the corresponding NatNet sample application in the samples folder into your application.
3. Use the API reference in the next page for additional information.

The Visual Studio solution file \Samples\NatNetSamples.sln will open and build all of the NatNet sample projects. If you are creating an application from scratch, please refer to the following sections for application specific requirements.

NatNet Sample Projects


The following projects are located in the NatNet SDK\Samples folder.


NatNet SDK Samples

The following sample projects utilizes NatNet SDK library for obtaining tracking data from a connected server application.
Sample Name Type Description
Matlab Managed: Matlab Sample MATLAB code file (.m) for using MATLAB with the NatNet managed assembly (NatNETML.dll).
MatlabWrapper Managed: Matlab Wrapper class for the NatNetML assembly members, allowing command line access to the client object.
MayaPlugIn Native: C++ GitHub open source project: mayaMotive
SampleClient Native: C++ Sample NatNet console app that connects to a NatNet server, receives a data stream, and writes that data stream to an ASCII file.
SampleClient3D Native: C++ Sample NatNet application that connects to a NatNet server, receives a data stream, and displays that data in an OpenGL 3D window.
SimpleServer Native: C++ Sample simple server application for outputing NatNet data packets. Should be used for client testing purposes only.
TimingClient Native: C++ This program connects to a NatNet server and can be used as a quick check to determine packet timing information.
Unity3D Native: C++ This program demonstrates streaming rigid body and skeleton tracking data from Motive into Unity via UDP. This application encodes skeleton data into the XML format for streaming into Unity.
WinFormsSample Managed: C# .NET Simple C# .NET sample showing how to use the NatNet managed assembly (NatNETML.dll). This sample also demonstrates how to send and receive the NatNet commands.


Direct Depacketization Samples

The following sample projects do not use the NatNet SDK library. Client/Server connection is established at a low-level by creating sockets and threads within the program, and the streamed data are depacketized directly from the bit-stream syntax. The following sample approaches should be used only when the use of NatNet SDK library is not applicable (e.g. streaming into UNIX clients).
Sample Name Type Description
PacketClient Native: C++ Simple example showing how to connect to a NatNet multicast stream and decode NatNet packets directly without using the NatNet SDK.
PythonClient Python Sample Python code file (.py) for using Python with NatNet streaming. This sample depacketizes data directly from the bit-stream without using the library.


XML trigger broadcast

The following samples demonstrate how to use remote triggering in Motive using the XML formatted UDP broadcase packets.
Sample Name Type Description
BroadcastSample XML broadcast Sample application illustrating how to use remote record trigger in Motive using XML formatted UDP broadcast packets.
NatCap XML broadcast Sample capture start/stop trigger broadcast app.


Running the Console Output Sample (Sample Client)

1. [Motive] Start the Optitrack Server (e.g. Motive) and begin streaming data via the Streaming Panel.


2. [Command Prompt] Start the client from the windows command prompt: SampleClient.exe [ClientIPAddress] [ServerIPAddress] [OutputFilename.txt]

Running the SampleClient project from the windows command prompt.


3. [Command Prompt] You should begin to see data streaming in the client window or to text file.

Running the SampleClient project from the windows command prompt.


Running the Rigid Body Sample (SampleClient3D)

The Rigid Body sample (SampleClient3D) illustrates how to decode NatNet 6DOF Rigid Body and Skeleton Segment data from OptiTrack quaternion format to euler angles and display them in a simple OpenGL 3D viewer. This sample also illustrates how to associate RigidBody/Skeleton Segment names and IDs from the data descriptions with the IDs streamed in the FrameOfMocapData packet.


With Client/Server on same machine:

1. [Motive] Load a dataset with rigid body or skeleton definitions

2. [Motive] Enable network streaming ( Data Streaming Pane -> Check Broadcast Frame Data )

3. [Motive] Enable streaming rigid body data (check Stream Options -> Stream Rigid Bodies = True)

4. [Sample3D] File -> Connect


With Client/Server on separate machines:

1. [Motive] Load a dataset with rigid body or skeleton definitions

2. [Motive] Set IP address to stream from (Network Interface Selection -> Local Interface)

3. [Motive] Enable network streaming ( Data Streaming Pane -> Check Broadcast Frame Data )

4. [Motive] Enable streaming rigid body data (check Stream Options -> Stream Rigid Bodies = True)

5. [Sample3D] Set Client and Server IP addresses

6. [Sample3D] File -> Connect

  • IP Address IP Address of client NIC card you wish to use.
  • Server IP Address IP Address of server entered in step 2 above.


SampleClient3D - Decoding and draqing labeled rigid body position and orientation (6DoF) data.


Running the .NET Sample

1. [Motive] Start a NatNet server application (e.g. Motive).

2. [Motive] Enable NatNet streaming from the Server application.

3. [WinFormTestApp] Start the WinForms sample application from the NatNet Samples folder.

4. [WinFormTestApp] Update the “Local” and “Server” IP Addresses as necessary.

5. [WinFormTestApp] Press the “Connect” button to connect to the server.

6. [WinFormTestApp] Press the “GetDataDesc” button to request and display a detailed description of the Server’s currently streamed objects.

7. [WinFormTestApp] Select a Row in the DataGrid to display that value in the graph.


Receiving tracking data via NatNet in a .NET environment.
Issuing remote control commands to Motive.


Running the Matlab Sample

1. [Motive] Start a NatNet server application (e.g. Motive).

2. [Motive] Enable NatNet streaming from the Server application.

3. [Matlab] Start Matlab

4. [Matlab] Open the NatNetMatlabSample.m file.

5. [Matlab] From the editor window, press Run


Rael-time streaming mocap data from Motive into Matlab.


Running the Unity3D Sample

For streaming into Unity3D, use OptiTrack Unity Plugin.

1. [Motive] Start Motive.

2. [Motive] Have skeleton tracking data available in Motive. You can either open a previously captured Take or stream directly from live tracking.

3. [Motive] Open the Data Streaming pane, and set the Local Rigid Body and Stream Skeletons setting to True.

4. [Motive] Specify the streaming network address under the Network Interace  Local Interface.

5. [Motive] Enable the network streaming from the server application (Motive: Data Streaming Pane  Check Broadcast Frame Data )

6. [UnitySample] Run UnitySample.exe from the \NatNet SDK\Samples\bin folder. This program connects to the NatNet server, receives tracking data from Motive, and outputs the data into Unity. If this application fails to find the host, go back to Motive and try streaming onto another network interface.

7. [Unity] Start Unity.

8. [Unity] Create a new project.

9. [Unity] Import the C# scripts, or assets, in the \NatNet SDK\Sample\Unity3D folder into Unity.

10. [Unity] Create an empty gameobject (GameObject  Create Empty) in the scene and name it SlipStream.

11. [Unity] Add the SlipStream.cs script component into the SlipStream object.

12. [Unity] Under the SlipStream.cs component, type in the streaming Unity3D IP address defined from the server application.

13. [Unity] Import a sample character in Unity. ( Asset  Import Package  Characters)

14. [Unity] From the imported assets folder in the Project panel, load the sample character, Ethan, into the scene. (Assets  Standard Assets  Characters ThirdPersonCharacters  Models  Ethan)

15. [Unity] Select the character, and under the inspector panel, disable the Animator class.

16. [Unity] Click Add Component, and add the LivePoseAnimator.cs script onto the character.

17. [Unity] Enter properties for the LivePoseAnimator component:

a. Under the Desintation Avatar, select the avatar that you wish to animate (Ethan  EthanAvatar).
b. Under the Slip Stream Object, select the empty object that you’ve attached the SlipStream.cs script to (SlipStream).
c. Under the Actor, select name of the skeleton in Motive that you wish to import.

18. [Unity] Double check the settings under the objects (SlipStream and Ethan) and run the project. If all settings are properly configured, Ethan will be animated using tracking data from Motive.


Rael-time streaming mocap data from Motive into Unity3D.