“Comic Chat” by Kurlander, Skelly and Salesin

  • ©David Kurlander, Tim Skelly, and David H. Salesin




    Comic Chat



    Comics have a rich visual vocabulary, and people find them appealing. They are also an effective form of communication. We have built a system, called Comic Chat, that represents on-line communications in the form of comics. Comic Chat automates numerous aspects of comics generation, including balloon construction and layout, the placement and orientation of comic characters, the default selection of character gestures and expressions, the incorporation of semantic panel elements, and the choice of zoom factor for the virtual camera. This paper describes the mechanisms that Comic Chat uses to perform this automation, as well as novel aspects of the program’s user interface. Comic Chat is a working program, allowing groups of people to communicate over the Internet. It has several advantages over other graphical chat programs, including the availability of a graphical history, and a dynamic graphical presentation.


    1. Anderson, M. Joe’s Dope: If Ya Gotta Do It… Do It Right! PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly. Issue 279, February 1976.29-36.]]
    2. Barr, A. and Feigenbaum, E. A. The Handbook of Artificial Intelligence. volume 1. William Kaufmann, Inc., Los Altos, CA. 1981. 285-287.]]
    3. Cassell, J., Pelachaud, C., Badler, N., Steedman, M., Achorn, B., Beckett, T., Douville, B., Prevost, S., and Stone, M. Automated Conversation: Rule-based Generation of Spoken Expression, Gesture, and Spoken Intonation for Multiple Conversational Agents. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’94 (Orlando, FL, July 24-29, 1994). In Computer Graphics Proceedings, Annual Conf. Series, ACM, New York. 413-420.]]
    4. CD-ROMIX! Inc., FREEX #1. P. O. Box 2961, Torrance, CA 90509. 1993.]]
    5. Eisner, W. Comics & Sequential Art. Poorhouse Press. Tamarac, FL. 1985.]]
    6. Feiner, S. APEX: An Experiment in the Automated Creation of Pictorial Explanations. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 5, 11. November 1985.29-37.]]
    7. Gornick, L. The Cartoon History of the Universe. Doubleday. New York. 1990.]]
    8. Haeberli, P. Paint by Numbers: Abstract Image Representations. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’90 (Dallas, TX, Aug. 6- 10). In Computer Graphics, 24, 4 (Aug. 1990), ACM, New York. 1990. 207-214.]]
    9. Kurlander, D. and Feiner, S. A History of Editable Graphical Histories. In Watch What I Do: Programming by Demonstration. Allen Cypher, ed. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 1993. 405-413.]]
    10. Lent, J. Oh, What a Time It Was: The Early Days of the Funnies. Witty World: International Cartoon Magazine. No. 19. Summer/Autumn 1995.16-22.]]
    11. Lent, J. “Yellow Kid” Celebrates Century with Hectic Schedule in 1995. Witty World: International Cartoon Magazine. No. 19. Summer/Autumn 1995.18-19.]]
    12. Mackinlay, J. Automating the Design of Graphical Presentations of Relational Information. ACM Trans. on Graphics, 5, 2. April 1986. 110-141.]]
    13. McCloud, S. Understanding Comics. Kitchen Sink Press. Northampton, MA. 1993.]]
    14. Microsoft Corp., Microsoft Introduces V-Chat Communications for MSN, The Microsoft Network. Nov. 30, 1995. Microsoft Press Release. Redmond, WA 98052.]]
    15. Montgomery R. and Gilligan, S. Comic Creator. Spark Interactive, 112 W. San Francisco St., Sante Fe, NM 87501, 1995.]]
    16. Morningstar, C. and Farmer, F. R. The Lessons of Lucasfilm’ s Habitat. In Cyberspace: First Steps. Benedikt, M., ed. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 1991. 273-301.]]
    17. Oikarinen, J. and Reed, D. Internet Relay Chat Protocol. Internet RFC #1459. May 1993.]]
    18. Salisbury, M. P., Anderson, S. E., Barzel, R., and Salesin, D.H. Interactive Pen and Ink Illustration. Proceedings of SIG- GRAPH ’94 (Orlando, FL, July 24-29). In Computer Graphics Proceedings, Annual Conf. Series, ACM, New York. 1994. 101-108.]]
    19. Seligmann, D. D., and Feiner, S. Automated Generation of Intent-Based 3D Illustrations. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’91 (Las Vegas, Nevada, July 28 – Aug. 2). In Computer Graphics, 25, 4 (July 1991) ACM, New York. 1991, 123-132.]]
    20. Trupin, 3. The Visual Programmer Puts ActiveX Documents Through Their Paces. Microsoft Systems Journal, 11, 6. June 1996.55-76.]]
    21. Winkenbach, G., and Salesin, D. Computer Generated Pen and Ink Illustration. Proceedings of SIGGRAPH ’94 (Orlando, FL, July 24-29). In Computer Graphics Proceedings, Annual Conf. Series, ACM, New York. 1994, 91-100.]]
    22. Worlds, Inc. Worlds Chat: Meet Your New Cyberfriends. http: //www.worlds.net/products/wchat/readme.html.]]

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: