A few months ago I heard about using a Kinect Sensor for Motion Capture to create animations. I bought one and tried using Brekel but the results were not good enough and the workflow wasn’t too straightforward either. Now a few days ago while searching (and avoiding the almost-omnipresent iPiSoft) I found a free open-source software called KMotion Capturer by Akira32 (site is in Chinese but he usually translates his KMotion Capturer related posts).
This software captures from Kinect and saves it into a .ms (MaxScript) file for use in 3ds Max. While you’re not able to see the real-time movements directly in your character, the result is an animated Biped skeleton which allows for easy transfer of the animation into your own character. Mocap is only ever a base for animations which requires adjusting and cleanup (further in this case, since the Kinect doesn’t capture fingers) so it doesn’t represent a problem.
It also uses Voice Commands for the different functions so it’s easy to use even without being at the keyboard to control it.