On-line locomotion synthesis for virtual humans

Ever since the development of Computer Graphics in the industrial and academic worlds in the seventies, public knowledge and expertise have grown in a tremendous way, notably because of the increasing fascination for Computer Animation. This specific field of Computer Graphics gathers numerous techniques, especially for the animation of characters or virtual humans in movies and video games. To create such high-fidelity animations, a particular interest has been dedicated to motion capture, a technology which allows to record the 3D movement of a live performer. The resulting realism motion is convincing. However, this technique offers little control to animators, as the recorded motion can only be played back. Recently, many advances based on motion capture have been published, concerning slight but precise modifications of an original motion or the parameterization of large motion databases. The challenge consists in combining motion realism with an intuitive on-line motion control, while preserving real-time performances. In the first part of this thesis, we would like to add a brick in the wall of motion parameterization techniques based on motion capture, by introducing a generic motion modeling for locomotion and jump activities. For this purpose, we simplify the motion representation using a statistical method in order to facilitate the elaboration of an efficient parametric model. This model is structured in hierarchical levels, allowing an intuitive motion synthesis with high-level parameters. In addition, we present a space and time normalization process to adapt our model to characters of various sizes. In the second part, we integrate this motion modeling in an animation engine, thus allowing for the generation of a continuous stream of motion for virtual humans. We provide two additional tools to improve the flexibility of our engine. Based on the concept of motion anticipation, we first introduce an on-line method for detecting and enforcing foot-ground constraints. Hence, a straight line walking motion can be smoothly modified to a curved one. Secondly, we propose an approach for the automatic and coherent synthesis of transitions from locomotion to jump (and inversely) motions, by taking into account their respective properties. Finally, we consider the interaction of a virtual human with its environment. Given initial and final conditions set on the locomotion speed and foot positions, we propose a method which computes the corresponding trajectory. To illustrate this method, we propose a case study which mirrors as closely as possible the behavior of a human confronted with an obstacle: at any time, obstacles may be interactively created in front of a moving virtual human. Our method computes a trajectory allowing the virtual human to precisely jump over the obstacle in an on-line manner.

Thalmann, Daniel
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis3431-7

 Record created 2005-11-28, last modified 2018-01-27

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