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Image Breathing New Life into the Entertainment Industry


The simulation of realistic virtual humans, who can interact within a 3-D environment and with the user, will improve the ability to create convincing human animation in the entertainment industry

Overview

Simulating convincing virtual people in real-time motion sequences is a highly complex and computationally-intensive task. Four complementary software packages have been developed under the HUMANOID project, which together enable human modelling, motion control in the human body, deformations of the body while in motion, interaction of the virtual human in a 3D scene, object grasping, walking, and facial animation. If used on parallel hardware platforms and existing workstations for image rendering, these software modules will enable the generation in real-time of truly convincing human animation sequences for films and multimedia.

Image Technical perspective

Consortium partners under HUMANOID 2 are aiming to further develop and promote the HUMANOID results for use within the multimedia and entertainment industries. The main software components include: SCULPTOR, a software package for building 3D objects and scenes and simulating physical interaction; FACE, a software package for the simulation of facial expressions; TRACK, software for the simulation of virtual humans; and COLLISION DETECTION, a set of software algorithms for collision handling of 3D objects within virtual scenes.

To create more realistic virtual actors for use in the film, television and games industries, Philips Research Laboratories are developing skills agents which enable virtual actors to perform scripts, including moving within a virtual scene, and interacting with virtual objects and other virtual actors. The agents also allow virtual actors to improvise actions appropriate to their roles when they are not performing an explicitly scripted action.

Business perspective

Video games, multimedia educational tools and animated film are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their use of virtual reality. Products in which realistic virtual people are able to move and interact autonomously within a 3-D environment promise to further boost sales and help the European entertainment industry stay ahead of the market. For example, advanced video games which enable users to interact with virtual actors in real-time could be developed using the HUMANOID results.

Outside the entertainment industry there are a wide range of applications which can also benefit from the HUMANOID results. Many tasks in architectural design, engineering or ergonomic studies require a physical correctness of virtual humans, provided by the HUMANOID software packages.

Applications

ERA Films NV and RTL Productions SA are currently producing a first 35mm animated film entitled 'Who is Mona Lisa?', using the HUMANOID software modules to simulate realistic virtual human beings. The film is based on the work of Leonardo da Vinci, and uses realistic virtual actors to animate the different paintings and drawings, and later to simulate visitors in a virtual exhibition.


Contact Point

Peter Wavish
Philips Research Laboratories
Cross Oak Lane
Redhill RH1 5HA
UK

tel +44-1293-815-056 -- fax +44-1293-815-500

e-mail (email removed)


Research Area High Performance Computing and Networking

Project HUMANOID 2 P8125

Keywords animation, human; entertainment industry; simulation;virtual reality;


Project Participants
Institute for Perception Research
Philips Research Laboratories
Silicon Graphics Manufacturing
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
TELMAT Multinode FR
University of Geneva - MIRA Lab.CH


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