Collaborating Authors


AAAI Conferences

This paper describes work towards the goal of enabling unscripted interaction with non-player characters in virtual environments. We hypothesize that we can define a layer of social affordances, based on physical and non-verbal signals exchanged between individuals and groups, which can be reused across games. We have implemented a first version of that substrate that employs whole body interaction with virtual characters and generates nuanced, real-time character performance in response. We describe the playable experience produced by the system, the implementation architecture (based on the behavior specification technology used in Façade, the social model employed in Prom Week, and gesture recognition technology), and illustrate the key behaviors and programming idioms that enable character performance. These idioms include orthogonal coding of attitudes and activities, use of relational rules to nominate social behavior, use of volition rules to rank options, and priority based interleaving of character animations.

Cartoon Character Animation with Maya - Programmer Books


Have you ever wanted to try your hand at cartoony computer animation? Then look no further… Cartoon Character Animation with Maya will help you create just that, guiding you through every step of the process including how to incorporate multiple limbs, smears, motion lines and staggers seamlessly into your animation. From planning to posing to polish, you'll learn how to make the most of breakdowns, take the terror out of tangent types and overcome the oft-feared graph editor. Each chapter includes insight and advice from world-leading character animators, and the companion website,, There's also a specially created rig of Mr. Buttons for you to animate with, as well as walk-through videos demonstrating key techniques.

The AI revolution is making game characters move more realistically


When we talk about artificial intelligence in games, we usually picture smarter or more realistic enemies that don't come off as mindless automatons. New research, though, is showing how an AI powered by a neural network could revolutionize the way player avatars animate realistically through complicated game environments in real time. Phase-Functioned Neural Networks for Character Control is a fundamentally new way of handling character animation that will be presented at the ACM's upcoming SIGGRAPH conference this summer. In most games, character animation is handled through "canned," pre-recorded motion capture. This means an average player will see precisely the same motion cycled repeated thousands of times in a single play-through.

Make Way for the Robot Animators! Bringing Professional Animators and AI Programmers Together in the Quest for the Illusion of Life in Robotic Characters

AAAI Conferences

We are looking at new ways of building algorithms for synthesizing and rendering animation in social robots that can keep them as interactive as necessary, while still following on principles and practices used by professional animators. We will be studying the animation process side by side with professional animators in order to understand how these algorithms and tools can be used by animators to achieve animation capable of correctly adapting to the environment and the artificial intelligence that controls the robot.

Disney animators explain why cartoon characters only have three fingers

BBC News

Have you ever noticed how cartoon characters have a thumb and three fingers, instead of four? The animators behind a new Disney TV show have been explaining why in an interview with the BBC.