Dr Jose Serra to present a paper at Eurographics 2018
Dr Jose Serra will be presenting a paper at Eurographics 2018 in April.
Dr Serra said “Facial animation is a crucial element of how computer graphics generated characters are brought to life and how we develop empathy with them. A smile placed at the correct moment can have more meaning than a thousand words. In this research, we focus on how to synthesise facial behaviours for secondary characters in games, with minimal input. Usually, animation is created either manually, which is slow, or with motion capture, which requires expensive equipment and actors. This makes creating varied animation for the hundreds of secondary characters, needed to make the world of a game alive, too expensive. What ends up happening is that a small array of animations is constantly replayed and remixed. The problem happens when the player starts noticing these repeated movements, after a few interactions with the character, and breaks his/her immersion in the medium.
In this research, we have explored the use of graphs to represent a facial motion database and to synthesise new movements. Small sequences of animation are generated by just by specifying the emotional labels, e.g. happy, and the character will change its current expression to the desired expression. In a game, the AI would trigger the facial behaviour of the character, and our method would handle all timing and poses to create unique animations. This method could also be applied by inexperienced animators to produce a rough animation or in other productions that require massive quantities of characters like VR worlds, crowd animation in films or even psychology studies that need a virtual character but don’t have the expert required to do so.”