Department of Computer Science Colloquium
Thursday, October 31, 2002, 4:15pm 
Upson Hall B17

Animating Human Characters

Jessica Hodgins
Carnegie Mellon  University

Computer animations and virtual environments both require a controllable source of motion for their characters. Two possible solutions are simulation and motion capture and over the past 10 years, we have explored both techniques separately. For example, we developed control algorithms that allow rigid body models to run or bicycle, bounce on a trampoline, and perform a handspring vault. More recently we explored several interfaces for controlling a avatar animated from a database of motion capture data. Recently, we have begun to combine simulations with motion capture data in the hope that these techniques will benefit both from the physical realism of simulation and from the humanlike motion provided by captured data. By using these techniques to animate humans, we are working towards avatars that are responsive to the user's control and interactive agents that respond appropriately to events in their environment.


Jessica Hodgins joined the Robotics Institute and Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University as a Associate Professor in fall of 2000. Prior to moving to CMU, she was an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1989. Her research focuses on computer graphics, animation, and robotics. She has received a NSF Young Investigator Award, a Packard Fellowship, and a Sloan Fellowship. She is editor-in-chief of ACM Transactions on Graphics and will be SIGGRAPH Papers Chair in 2003.