Real-Time Animation of Interactive Agents: Specification and Realization

Alexis Heloir; Michael Kipp
In: Applied Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 24, No. 6, Pages 510-529, Taylor and Francis, 2010.


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. We present EMBR, a new real-time 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 also introduce new concepts for the high-level control of motion quality (spatial/temporal extent, power, fluidity). Finally, we describe the architecture of the EMBR engine, its integration into larger project contexts, and conclude with a concrete application.

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