CS 6204 Character Animation, Research and Applications

Instructor: Yong Cao

Phone: (540) 231-0415

Email: yongcao@cs.vt.edu

Office Hour: Tuesday 10:30am - Noon McBryde 610
                     Thursday 10:30am - Noon KWII 1124

Lectures: TR 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM Randolph Hall 316


Class Schedule Webpage


o        Course Description:


In this graduate level course, the students will be familiar with the most recently research topics in character animation. It covers the topics of full-body animation, facial animation, hand animation and other related computer graphics fields.


o        Learning Objectives:

o       Understanding of the nature of animation and problems in Computer Animation.

o       Familiarity with the current research directions and applications in Character Animation.

o       Exposure to techniques and algorithms used in Computer Animation.

o       Experience with fundamental implementation of animation modules in graphics applications.


o        Paper presentation:
Instructor will assign 2-4 papers to each student, who will present during the class. The list of papers can be found at the end of this document.

o        Projects:
Projects will be assigned by the instructor and in consultation with the students. A project proposal must be submitted to the instructor for approval. The proposal must clearly state the goal of the project, the proposed methodology and the timetable for completion of the project.

Project timetable:

Week 2: Submit initial proposal (off class)
Week 4: Present final proposal (in class)
Week 6: Initial progress report (off class)
Week 10: Progress report (in class)
Final Week: Result presentation (in class)

o        The possible projects:

1.      Hardware accelerated skinning.

2.      Organizing motion capture data in a database for high level queries.

3.      Motion retargeting.

4.      Facial animation while listening to a speaker.

5.      Visual attention controller.

6.      Motion synthesis from annotations and a data base of motions.

7.      Hardware accelerated hair animation.

8.      Crowd simulation.

9.      Path planning in dynamic environments.

10.  Inverse Kinematics for Character Animation.

11.  Sketch-based facial animation.

12.  Step controller.

13.  Tongue Animation.

o        Materials and References:
There is no required Text Book for this course. We use the literatures from conference and journal papers. You can use the following list as reference materials:

  1. Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH, available at the ACM digital library, www.acm.org.
  2. ACM SIGGRAPH course notes.
  3. Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation, available at the ACM digitial library, www.acm.org.
  4. Advanced Animation and Rendering Techniques, A. Watt and M. Watt, Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-201-54412-1.
  5. Computer Animation Algorithms and Techniques, Rick Parent, Morgna Kaufmann, ISBN 1-55860-579-7.
  6. OpenGL webs site, www.opengl.org.
  7. OpenGL 1.4 Programming Guide,Addison-Wesley, 1999.

o        Grading Scheme:

o       Class participation: 10%

o       Paper presentation: 30%.

o       Project proposal: 10%.

o       Project presentation: 10%.

o       Project Result: 40%.


o        Paper List:


Facial Animation: General

  1. P. Ekmanand W. Friesen. "Facial Action Coding System." (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/project/face/www/facs.htm)
  2. CASSELL, J., PELACHAUD, C., BADLER, N., STEEDMAN, M., ACHORN, B., BECKET, W., DOUVILLE, B., PREVOST, S., AND STONE, M. "ANIMATED CONVERSATION: Rule-based Generation of Facial Expression, Gesture & Spoken Intonation for Multiple Conversational Agents" (http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/cassell94animated.html)

Facial Animation: Lip Syncing

  1. COHEN, N. AND MASSARO, D. W. "Modeling coarticulation in synthetic visual speech" (http://mambo.ucsc.edu/psl/ca93.html)
  2. Yong Cao, Petros Faloutsos, Eddie Kohler, Fred Pighin, "Real-time Speech Motion Synthesis from Recorded Motions" (paper: http://people.cs.vt.edu/~yongcao/Documents/Cao_102.pdf, video: http://people.cs.vt.edu/~yongcao/Videos/SCA04_102.mpg).
  3. BREGLER, C., COVELL, M., AND SLANEY, M. "Video rewrite: driving visual speech with audio" (http://mrl.nyu.edu/~bregler/videorewrite/)
  4. EZZAT, T., GEIGER, G., AND POGGIO, T. "Trainable videorealistic speech animation" (http://cbcl.mit.edu/projects/cbcl/publications/ps/siggraph02.pdf)
  5. BRAND, M. 1999. "Voice puppetry" (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~ph/869/papers/Brand-sigg99.pdf)

Facial Animation:


  1. CHUANG, E., DESHPANDE, H., AND BREGLER, C. "Facial expression space learning" (http://graphics.stanford.edu/~echuang/espace/)
  2. Yong Cao, Petros Faloutsos, Fred Pighin "Unsupervised Learning for Speech Motion Editing" (http://people.cs.vt.edu/~yongcao/Documents/Cao_154.pdf)
  3. PIGHIN, F., HECKER, J., LISCHINSKI, D., SZELISKI, R., AND SALESIN, D. "Synthesizing realistic facial expressions from photographs" (http://smg.www.media.mit.edu/classes/VirtualSociety99/temp/p75-pighin.pdf)
  4. Jun-yong and Noh Ulrich Neumann, "Expression Cloning" (http://graphics.usc.edu/cgit/pdf/papers/sig2001.pdf)
  5. TENENBAUM, J. B. AND FREEMAN, W. T. "Separating style and content with bilinear models". (http://web.mit.edu/cocosci/Papers/NC120601.pdf)

Facial animation:

Physical model

  1. WATERS, K. "A muscle model for animating three-dimensional facial expression" (http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=37405&coll=portal&dl=ACM)
  2. Sung-Hee Lee and Demetri Terzopoulos "Biomechanical Modeling and Neuromuscular Control of the Neck" (http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~dt/papers/siggraph06/siggraph06.pdf)
  3. Kolja Kähler, Jörg Haber and Hans-Peter Seidel, "Geometry-based Muscle Modeling for Facial Animation" (http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/642487.html and http://www.mpi-sb.mpg.de/resources/FAM/)

Full body Animation:


  1. HODGINS, J. K., WOOTEN, W. L., BROGAN, D. C., AND O'BRIEN, J. F. 1995. Animating human athletics. (http://www.cs.virginia.edu/papers/sig95.pdf)
  2. ZORDAN, V. B., CELLY, B., CHIU, B., AND DILORENZO, P. C. "Breathe easy: Model and control of simulated respiration for animation." (http://graphics.cs.ucr.edu/papers/zordan:2004:BEM.pdf)

Full Body Animation:

Motion Capture

  1. Michael Gleicher "Retargetting Motion to New Characters" (http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=280820)
  2. Lucas Kovar, Michael Gleicher and Fred Pighin, "Motion Graphs" (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/graphics/Papers/Gleicher/Mocap/mograph.pdf)
  3. Okan Arikan, David A. Forsyth "Interactive Motion Generation from Examples" (http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~okan/papers/s2002/s2002.pdf)
  4. O. Arikan, D. Forsyth and J. O'Brien, "Motion Synthesis from Annotations" (http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~okan/papers/s2003/annotationSynthesis.html)
  5. Lucas Kovar and Michael Gleicher, "Registration Curves" (http://www.cs.wisc.edu/graphics/Gallery/kovar.vol/RegistrationCurves/)
  6. Kang Hoon Lee, Myung Geol Choi and Jehee Lee, "Motion Patches: Building Blocks for Virtual Environments Annotated with Motion Data" (http://mrl.snu.ac.kr/~zoi/motion_patch/motion_patch.html)
  7. GROCHOW, K., MARTIN, S. L., HERTZMANN, A., AND POPOVI´C , Z. "Style-based inverse kinematics" (http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/styleik/)
  8. Jinxiang Chai and Jessica K. Hodgins, "Performance Animation from Low-dimensional Control Signals" (http://graphics.cs.cmu.edu/projects/performance-animation/pa_projectpage.html)
  9. Meinard M¨uller Tido R¨oder and Michael Clausen, "Efficient Content-Based Retrieval of Motion Capture Data"
  10. Katsu Yamane, James Kuffner, and Jessica K. Hodgins, "Synthesizing Animations of Human Manipulation Tasks"

Full Body Animation:

Physics based

  1. Petros Faloutsos, Michiel van de Panne and Demetri Terzopoulos, "Composable Controllers for Character Animation" (http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~pfal/papers/siggraph2001.pdf)
  2. Zoran Popovi´c and AndrewWitkin "Physically Based Motion Transformation" (http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/zoran/sigg99/)
  3. Liu, C. K., Hertzmann, A. and Popović, Z. "Learning Physics-based Motion Style with Nonlinear Inverse Optimization" (http://grail.cs.washington.edu/projects/charanim/phys-style.html)
  4. Zordan, V. B., Majkowska, A., Chiu, B., Fast, M "Dynamic Response for Motion Capture Animation" (http://graphics.cs.ucr.edu/projects/mocsim/mocsim.html)



  1. Peter-Pike J. Sloan, Charles F. Rose, III and Michael F. Cohen, "Shape by Example" (http://research.microsoft.com/~rose/Shape_I3D2001.pdf)
  2. Sang Il Park and Jessica K. Hodgins "Capturing and Animating Skin Deformation in Human Motion" (http://graphics.cs.cmu.edu/projects/muscle/)
  3. Kevin G. Der Robert W. Sumner and Jovan Popovi´c "Inverse Kinematics for Reduced Deformable Models" (http://graphics.stanford.edu/~kder/ikrdm/ikrdm.pdf)
  4. JAMES, D. L., AND TWIGG, C. D. "Skinning mesh animations" (http://graphics.cs.cmu.edu/projects/sma/)
  5. J. P. Lewis, Matt Cordner, Nickson Fong, "Pose Space Deformation: A Unified Approach to Shape Interpolation and Skeleton-Driven Deformation"( http://www.idiom.com/~zilla/Work/PSD/PSD.pdf)

Hand Animation

  1. Paul G. Kry and Dinesh K. Pai "Interaction Capture and Synthesis" (http://www.interactioncapture.org/siggraph06.html)
  2. George ElKoura and Karan Singh "Handrix: Animating the Human Hand" (http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/~gelkoura/noback/scapaper03.pdf)
  3. Winnie Tsang, Karan Singh and Eugene Fiume "Helping Hand: An Anatomically Accurate Inverse Dynamics Solution For Unconstrained Hand Motion" (http://www.dgp.toronto.edu/~karan/pdf/HandPaper_SCA.pdf)

Hair Simulation

  1. Florence Bertails, Tae-Yong Kim, Marie-Paule Cani and Ulrich Neumann " Adaptive Wisp Tree - a multiresolution control structure for simulating dynamic clustering in hair motion" (http://www-evasion.imag.fr/Publications/2003/BKCN03/)
  2. Johnny Chang, Jingyi Jin and Yizhou Yu, "A Practical Model for Hair Mutual Interactions" (http://www-sal.cs.uiuc.edu/~yyz/research/hair/)

Crowd Simulation

  1. W. Shao, D. Terzopoulos, "Autonomous Pedestrians" (http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~dt//papers/sca05/sca05.pdf) (Videos on: http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~dt//videos/pedestrians/)
  2. Branislav Ulicny, Pablo de Heras Ciechomski and Daniel Thalmann "Crowdbrush: Interactive Authoring of Real-time Crowd Scenes" (http://vrlab.epfl.ch/~ulicny/crowdbrush.html)
  3. Adrien Treuille Seth Cooper and Zoran Popović, "Continuum Crowds"