Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - ANINEX (User Centred Computer Animation Techniques for Next Generation Digital Creation and Modelling)

The “AniNex” Consortium consists of five partners (two EU Beneficiaries and three partners in China), who are world leading centres of excellence in both the academic world and industry. The “AniNex” is designed to anticipate and lead the development of next generation technology related to computer animation and its applications, via integrating knowledge and talents of people from top institutions who have been at the forefront of the relevant fields for many years. This has been achieved by research collaboration at various levels and scheduled staff exchange among five partners of the consortium. To answer the current challenge in digital creation and modelling, the emphasis has been on two main cores: “dynamics and interaction of virtual objects - DynO” and “virtual character modelling, and animation - XMAn”, but other elements like rendering and geometric modelling have also been naturally incorporated as well.

List of Participants
Beneficiary 1 (coordinator): National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), Bournemouth University, UK
Beneficiary 2: MIRALab, University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland
Partner 3: National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology, Tsinghua University (THU), China
Partner 4: The State Key Laboratory of Computer Science, Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS), China
Partner 5: The State Key Laboratory of Computer Aided Design and Computer Graphics, Zhejiang University (ZJU), China

The overall aim of this project is to develop technologies and tools to bring technical breakthroughs and to support future animation production in order to alleviate the tedious manual preparation in the creation process, shorten production time with more effective technologies and powerful software tools, and enable interaction and collaboration among the users. The partnership has created and strengthened the interwoven connection of EU and China on research through transfer of knowledge and secondment of research staff, and forged the productive multiple disciplinary research collaboration relating to the development of knowledge for digital creation and modelling, a main driver of the digital economy. The implementation of the project has led to the following key impacts: 1)- Dissolving technical boundaries; 2)- Spreading and promoting innovation; 3)- Opening future research themes in the related fields.

Research findings have provided abundant knowledge and skills to effectively improve creative competitiveness in the computer animation, film and gaming sectors. They have shed light on other creative experiences, such as real time simulation and visualisation, augmented reality, 3D animation, visual computing, game engine and immersive experience, and the impact can be further extended to other beneficiaries in other fields like medical applications, design and manufacturing where knowledge of novel simulation and visualisation are contributing to the enhancement and enrichment of user experiences. The project has demonstrated world leading breakthroughs with many innovative methods, including multi-phase fluid simulation and a unified dynamic simulation framework to serve the computer animation and computer graphics communities, motion synthesis and artificial intelligence (AI) driven behaviour modelling of insects/virtual agents, enhanced rendering, automated estimation of human modelling parameters and motion synthesis for social agents. All these are direct outcomes of integrated training programme and development activities of researchers via staff mobility and secondment.

Three workshops have been organised successfully during the project life. The first workshop has been successfully organised at Tsinghua University in Beijing on 15 Apr, 2015, in association with the Computational Visual Media Conference (http://iccvm.org/2015/). The second workshop has been in conjunction with the 29th International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents (CASA 2016), one of the oldest and the most influential international conferences in computer graphics, at MIRALab, University of Geneva on 23 May 2016. The third workshop has been in conjunction with the International Conference on E-learning and Games (Edutainment) at the NCCA, Bournemouth University on 22-23 Jun, 2017. All the workshops have successfully disseminated the research outputs and provided great networking opportunities for researchers (within the consortium and among the conferences’ attendees) across the worlds. A book has been published in the third workshop (Chang, J., Zhang, J.J., Thalmann, N.M., Hu, S.M., Tong, R. and Wang, W. eds., 2017. Next Generation Computer Animation Techniques: Third International Workshop, Aninex 2017, Bournemouth, Uk, June 22-23, 2017, Revised Selected Papers (Vol. 10582). Springer.).

In total, the project has published 31 peer-reviewed journal papers and 22 papers at international conferences (including 10 papers in the workshop book) which disseminate the research to broach audience.

Overall the management arrangements and the programme of work packages, staff secondment, training and other activities have been executed well with joint efforts of the consortium, which has led to fruitful scientific findings published at peer reviewed journals and international conferences. The project has developed long term sustainable relationship among all partners to benefit the ERA development. Knowledge Exchange and Researcher Mobility have been at the centre of the proposed scheme to promote collaboration on 1) solving existing challenges and problems, 2) predicting the trend of future technology development, and engineering a user-centred solution. The knowledge exchange and researcher mobility aspect has realised the potentials of the relevant technologies in computer animation and the related disciplines for the purpose of supporting scientific creative processes.

Project Contact Details:
Prof Jian J Zhang
The National Centre for Computer Animation,
Faculty of Media and Communication
Bournemouth University
Poole, BH12 5BB, U. K.
Email: jzhang@bournemouth.ac.uk

Reported by

BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom

Subjects

Life Sciences
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