Seminar "Character Animation" (SS 2008)

Seminar conducted by Michael Kipp and Alexis Heloir.

Animating hierarchical, articulated structures like human bodies is a challenging task. A human skeleton has many degrees of freedom that, ideally, should all be controlled automatically according to high-level commands (walk, grasp, gesture, change posture) and parameters (fast, expansive, like an old person, jerky). The ultimate aim is synthetic movement that looks natural (i.e. human-like), is synchronized (e.g. to speech or music) and expressive (style, personality, emotion). In this seminar, we will look at the most important contributions to this field, ranging from representational issues and inverse kinematics to motion capture and questions of high-level style parameters.

Written Report Facts:


  • time: Thursdays, 16:20 h
  • location: MPII, room 23 (ground level)
  • language: English
  • first meeting: 17 April 2008
  • last meeting: 17 July 2008
  • requirements for participation: at least 1 Computer graphics lecture/seminar

Requirements for successful participation:

  • give a presentation (30 min) and discuss (10 min)
  • hand in a written report (10-15 pages, English)
  • chair one session (i.e. announce the speaker and manage discussion)
  • attend all sessions


DateTopicSpeaker (supervisor)Material
17.+24.04.Introduction to character animation

Michael KippWatt, A., Watt, M. (1992) Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, Chapter 16.

Parent, R. (2002) Computer Animation, Section 4.2 + Chapter 6.
8.5.Quaternions + SLERP

Verena Kremer
chair: Lessle
Shoemake (1985) Animating Rotation with Quaternion Curves

Lander (1998) Better 3D.

M. P. Johnson (2003) Exploiting Quaternions to Support Expressive Interactive Character Motion, MIT, PhD thesis.
15.5.Inverse kinematics: Inverse Jacobian + CCD

Fabian Lessle
chair: Kremer
Welman (1993) Inverse Kinematics and Geometric Contraints for Articulated Figure Manipulation

Lander (1998) Oh My God, I Inverted Kine

Lander (1998) Making Kine More Flexible
Complementary: Baxter (2000) Fast Numerical Methods for Inverse Kinematics
29.5.Fast inverse kinematics

Alexis Heloir D. Tolani and N. I. Badler (1996) Real-Time Inverse Kinematics Techniques for Anthropomorphic Limbs

Kulpa, R. and Multon, F. (2005) Fast inverse kinematics and kinetics solver for human-like figure (ieee paper, ask us if not available.)

Complementary: Chris Hecker et al. (2008) Real-Time Motion Retargeting to Highly Varied User-Created Morphologies
5.6.Principles of traditional animation

Yuliya Akkuzhyna
chair: Schiel
Lasseter (1987) Principles Of Traditional Animation Applied To 3d Computer Animation

Franck Thomas and Ollie Johnson (1981) The illusion of Life, Disney animation, chapter 3. "The principles of animation".

Complementary: Sonoko Konishi, Michael Venturini (2007) Articulating the Appeal

Complementary: Shawn Kelly (2008) Animation tips and tricks


Patrick Schiel
chair: Gier
Chi et al. (2000) The EMOTE Model for Effort and Shape.

B. Hartmann and M. Mancini and C. Pelachaud (2006) Implementing Expressive Gesture Synthesis for Embodied Conversational Agents
19.6.Motion Blending Cancelled Stephane Birster
chair: Pohl
L. Kovar and M. Gleicher (2003) Flexible automatic motion blending with registration curves

Complementary : L. Ikemoto and D. Forsyth (2004) Enriching a Motion Collection by Transplanting Limbs
26.6.Motion synthesis from annotations

Saied Tehrani
Chair: Akkuzhna
O. Arikan and D. A. Forsyth and J. F. O'Brien (2003) Motion synthesis from annotations
3.7.Motion Graphs

Pascal Pohl
chair: Tehrani
L. Kovar and M. Gleicher and F. Pighin (2002) Motion graphs

Complementary : Jehee Lee et al. (2004) Interactive Control of Avatars Animated with Human Motion Data

Adrian Gier
chair: Stefan John
J. K. Hodgins and W. L. Wooten and D. C. Brogan and J. F.O'Brien (1995) Animating Human Athletics
17.7complementing physics with mocap

Stefan John
chair: Schwarz (NEW)
V. B. Zordan and J. K. Hodgins (2002) Motion capture-driven simulations that hit and react

O. Arikan and D. A. Forsyth and J. F. O'Brien (2005) Pushing people around