Colloquium: Perception and Animation of Body and Hand Motions for Realistic Virtual Characters

Perception and Animation of Body and Hand Motions for Realistic Virtual Characters

Colloquium: Sophie Joerg
Friday, February 10, 2012
2:00pm – 119 McAdams

Abstract
Virtual characters are becoming increasingly common in movies, games, and virtual reality applications. Rapid advances in performance capture and rendering techniques have allowed for the creation of characters that appear very human-like. However, these virtual humans are not always compelling and some are even perceived as eerie, an effect that is amplified by motion. To address this issue, we need to understand how we perceive and interpret human motions and to develop more sophisticated tools to animate virtual characters. In this talk, I will present multiple projects that contribute to reaching these goals. I will focus on flaws in motion capture technology, such as the capturing of finger motions. With a set of perceptual experiments, I demonstrate the importance of correct finger animations. Inspired by those results, we developed a data-based method to automatically synthesize finger motions for conversational characters. To investigate the higher level responses of the viewer, we explored the approach of using vignettes, i.e., animated movies that tell a story and convey emotional content, for perceptual experiments. We used vignettes not only to investigate the consequences of erroneous finger motions but also the influence of facial animation and sound.

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