Embr - a realtime animation engine for interactive embodied agents

Alexis Heloir; Michael Kipp
In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents. International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA-2009), 9th, September 14-16, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Lecture Notes in Computer Sciences (LNCS), Vol. 5773, Springer, 2009.


Embodied agents are a powerful paradigm for current and future multimodal interfaces, yet require high effort and expertise for their creation, assembly and animation control. Therefore, open animation engines and high-level control languages are required to make embodied agents accessible to researchers and developers. In this paper, we present EMBR, a new realtime character animation engine that offers a high degree of animation control via the EMBRScript language. We argue that a new layer of control, the animation layer, is necessary to keep the higher-level control layers (behavioral/functional) consistent and slim, while allowing a unified and abstract access to the animation engine, e.g. for the procedural animation of nonverbal behavior. We describe the EMBRScript animation layer, the architecture of the EMBR engine, its integration into larger project contexts, and conclude with a concrete application.

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