Virtual characters demonstrating Tai Chi in virtual worlds.

Click on any of the images below to run the Tai Chi trainer in a new window.

Tai Chi Trainer from 'Group 3'
using the Unity engine and running in a web page. Note that this is around a 30MB download so may take some time to start.

Screenshots of the Tai Chi Trainer application created by 'Group 7'

To install 'Group 7' Tai Chi on your PC:

Download this zipped file and place the contents in a folder on your computer: (137MB)

Before running the Tai Chi Trainer XNA needs to be installed on the computer.

To do this run the xnafx31_redist installer provided, this is only needs to be installed once on a computer.

XNA also requires .NET to be installed on the computer, If you are running Windows 7 this will already be installed. On older versions of Windows this will need to be installed if it is not already. It is supplied in Windows updates, so if the game fails to run, run Windows update to install .NET .

To Run:

Once installed you can just run Tai Chi Trainer by double clicking the Xbox controller icon. Keyboard controls are in the readme.txt file.

This product is distributed "as is". No warranty of any kind is expressed or implied. Customers use this software at their own risk. Tai Chi Worlds will not be liable for data loss, damages, loss of profits or any other kind of loss while using or misusing this software.

Every effort has been made to ensure that this software is in good working order, and that information contained within external files and this website is correct. However, we do not guarantee that this software is 100% free from errors or that technical information is 100% accurate.

About the virtual world Tai Chi Trainers
Tai Chi Worlds contains Tai Chi Trainers created by students at the School of Creative Technologies at the University of Portsmouth. The trainers were created as part of a third year group project. The movements were motion captured in the university's motion capture facility. The motion capture (pictured left) of the Tai Chi short form (yang style) was performed by Mark Eyles, a lecturer at the university who acted as a client for these group projects.

Mark talks about the trainers
I had been going to Tai Chi classes for around six years when I did the motion capture for these projects in 2009 and then again in 2010 (different groups used different animation data). I had also done some Tai Chi some years previously for around three years, I think around 1989, when I learned both the short and long forms.

I am not great at Tai Chi and do not practice enough, but I can get through the short form alright and, if I have people who know it well around me, can also get through the straight sword, broad sword and staff forms. So the Tai Chi in the trainers on this site is not perfect. You can find plenty of films of skilled Tai Chi practitioners elsewhere on the web; like at and a whole lot on YouTube. However, I thought it would be fun to try and create a 3D Tai Chi trainer, where the user can slow down and speed up the form and where the user has control of the camera.

I study Tai Chi at the Wutan martial arts centre in Southampton under Master They SoonTuan. Master They is skilled in Tai Chi and many other forms, such as Pa Kua Chang. He also is a fine martial artist with many years experience and is patient and calm.

The Wutan school has a Tai Chi website here:, which is part of a collection of Wutan web sites featuring different martial arts.

Work in progress graphics from 'Group 3':

Work in progress graphics from 'Group 9':

Work in progress graphics from 'Group 11' (what is it with the hat? Actually this is a placeholder mesh from Team Fortress 2!):

More about the project

This project is part of a third year module for students on courses in the School of Creative Technologies. The module is called 'Real Time Group Project' (often referred to as RTGROP) and sort of does what the title says; students are divided into groups and then must work on a project chosen from a number supplied by lecturers and companies. The Tai Chi project was first run in 2008-9, but none of the groups managed to complete it. So in 2009-10 the project is being run again, except this time the groups are required to finish it. There are five groups working on this: Groups 1, 3, 7, 9 and 11, though I'm not expecting all of these groups to deliver working trainers...

Update after the end of the project: the Tai Chi Trainers from Groups 1, 9 and 11 were largely completed and demonstrated at presentations, but the versions supplied for the website were lacking in functionality or incomplete so are not available here.

Here is the information they were given at the beginning of the project in October 2009:
      Tai Chi Project slides .pdf (1Mb file opens in a new Window or right click and 'save target as').

Here is one of the videos I supplied to the groups working on this project:
      Video of the short form .wmv (24Mb file opens in a new Window or right click and 'save target as').
      Video of the short form .mp4 (30Mb file opens in a new Window or right click and 'save target as').

Here is a video of the March 2010 motion capture animation applied to a computer generated character. This was put together by Alex Counsel, who runs the motion capture facility at the University of Portsmouth (amongst other things):
      Computer generated Tai Chi short form to the left .mp4 file (9Mb file opens in a new Window or right click and 'save target as').
There is another version of this video here:
      Tai chi motion capture with inset video of capture session .wmv

Here is a list of the moves in the computer generated Tai Chi short form video with timings so that you can relate them to the video:
      Computer generated Tai Chi short form moves list with timings .xls file (22K file opens in a new Window or right click and 'save target as').

Contact Mark here:

Mark Eyles
Principal Lecturer/Advanced Games Research Group
School of Creative Technologies
University of Portsmouth
Eldon Building
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
United Kingdom
Telephone: (44) 23 9284 5468
Work website:
Personal website: