Summary form only given. This paper discusses the problem of control and autonomy of synthetic actors. It first describes an animation approach where synthetic vision is used for navigation by a synthetic actor. The vision is the only channel of information between the actor and its environment and offers a universal approach to pass the necessary information from the environment to an actor in the problems of path searching, obstacle avoidance, and internal knowledge representation with learning and forgetting characteristics. Then it presents the development of a general concept of autonomous actors reacting to their environment and taking decisions based on perception systems, memory and reasoning