Project Details


Procedural synthesis of natural and contextually appropriate gestures in embodied virtual human agents is challenging. Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) offers a descriptive system for human gesture qualities that fills the gap between pre-defined gesture playback systems and human animator intuition. A computational analog of LMA called EMOTE has been constructed whose parameters modify the performance qualities of arm gesture movements. EMOTE will be developed in several new ways:

* Connect EMOTE with an agent model so that an agent's affect, personality, and communicative needs set appropriate EMOTE parameters for gesture performance.

* Investigate motion analysis techniques for extracting EMOTE parameters from live dual or single camera views.

* Experimentally validate the automated acquisition of EMOTE parameters by using professional LMA notators for ground truth.

* Use the extracted parameters to create instances of parameterized actions which may be subsequently used for action, affect, and manner descriptions and, ultimately, for content-directed analysis of existing film or video material.

This study will help set synthetic agent animation techniques on a sound empirical footing, provide evidence that computers can in fact observe important motion qualities, and lead to strong connections between internal agent state and external behavior qualities.

Effective start/end date9/15/028/31/05


  • National Science Foundation: $427,000.00


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