“Composable controllers for physics-based character animation” by Faloutsos, Panne and Terzopoulos

  • ©Petros Faloutsos, Michiel van de Panne, and Demetri Terzopoulos




    Composable controllers for physics-based character animation



    An ambitious goal in the area of physics-based computer animation is the creation of virtual actors that autonomously synthesize realistic human motions and possess a broad repertoire of lifelike motor skills. To this end, the control of dynamic, anthropomorphic figures subject to gravity and contact forces remains a difficult open problem. We propose a framework for composing controllers in order to enhance the motor abilities of such figures. A key contribution of our composition framework is an explicit model of the “pre-conditions” under which motor controllers are expected to function properly. We demonstrate controller composition with pre-conditions determined not only manually, but also automatically based on Support Vector Machine (SVM) learning theory. We evaluate our composition framework using a family of controllers capable of synthesizing basic actions such as balance, protective stepping when balance is disturbed, protective arm reactions when falling, and multiple ways of standing up after a fall. We furthermore demonstrate these basic controllers working in conjunction with more dynamic motor skills within a prototype virtual stunt-person. Our composition framework promises to enable the community of physics-based animation practitioners to easily exchange motor controllers and integrate them into dynamic characters.


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