Algorithms and methods are presented for animating the hands of a synthetic actor. The algorithms allow the land to move and grasp objects; they also compute deformations of the hand as it moves. The mapping of surfaces onto the skeleton is based on the concept of joint-dependent local deformation (JLD) operators, which are specific local deformation operators depending on the nature of the joints. The major problem in the hand covering process is the calculation of the coordinate bases. The key to the method was to find a model for calculating the bases which was sophisticated enough for the simulation of complex motions. Several examples are shown and the user interface introduced into the human factory system is also described