Conference Paper

Sketching-out virtual humans: from 2D storyboarding to immediate 3D character animation.

DOI: 10.1145/1178823.1178913 Conference: Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, ACE 2006, Hollywood, California, USA, June 14-16, 2006
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Virtual beings are playing a remarkable role in today's public entertainment, while ordinary users are still treated as audiences due to the lack of appropriate expertise, equipment, and computer skills. In this paper, we present a fast and intuitive storyboarding interface, which enables users to sketch-out 3D virtual humans, 2D/3D animations, and character intercommunication. We devised an intuitive "stick figure→fleshing-out→skin mapping" graphical animation pipeline, which realises the whole process of key framing, 3D pose reconstruction, virtual human modelling, motion path/timing control, and the final animation synthesis by almost pure 2D sketching. A "creative model-based method" is developed, which emulates a human perception process, to generate the 3D human bodies of variational sizes, shapes, and fat distributions. Meanwhile, our current system also supports the sketch-based crowd animation and the storyboarding of the 3D multiple character intercommunication. This system has been formally tested by various users on Tablet PC. After minimal training, even a beginner can create vivid virtual humans and animate them within minutes.

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present a fast and intuitive interface for sketching out 3D virtual humans and animation. The user draws stick figure key frames first and chooses one for “fleshing-out” with freehand body contours. The system automatically constructs a plausible 3D skin surface from the rendered figure, and maps it onto the posed stick figures to produce the 3D character animation. A “creative model-based method” is developed, which performs a human perception process to generate 3D human bodies of various body sizes, shapes and fat distributions. In this approach, an anatomical 3D generic model has been created with three distinct layers: skeleton, fat tissue, and skin. It can be transformed sequentially through rigid morphing, fatness morphing, and surface fitting to match the original 2D sketch. An auto-beautification function is also offered to regularise the 3D asymmetrical bodies from users’ imperfect figure sketches. Our current system delivers character animation in various forms, including articulated figure animation, 3D mesh model animation, 2D contour figure animation, and even 2D NPR animation with personalised drawing styles. The system has been formally tested by various users on Tablet PC. After minimal training, even a beginner can create vivid virtual humans and animate them within minutes.
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