Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Interaction in 3-dimensional modelling

Visual feedback, in a typical computer graphics application that requires items to be positioned or moved in 3-dimensional space, usually consists of a few orthogonal and perspective projection views of the same object in a multiple window format. This layout may be welcomed in a computer aided design (CAD) system where, in particular, en engineer might want to create fairly smooth and regular shape and then acquire some quantitative information about his design. But in 3-dimensional applications where highly irregular shapes are created and altered in a purely and aesthetic fashion, like in sculpting or keyframe positioning, this window layout creates a virtually unsolvable puzzle for the brain and makes it very difficult (if not impossible) for the user of such interfaces to fully understand his work and decide where further alterations should be made. A sculpting approach with a graphical interface based on the 'ball and mouse' metaphor (involving a mouse for selecting 3-dimensional primitives performing interactions, and a SpaceBall for controlling the location and orientation of the modelled object) allows to overcome the limitations of traditional modelling software.

The main software components include: SCULPTOR, a software package for building 3-dimensional 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 3-dimensional objects within virtual scenes. To create more realistic virtual actors for use in the film, television and games industries agents are being developed 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.

Contact

Nadia MAGNENAT-THALMANN
Tel.: +41-227057769
Fax: +41-227057780
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