“Crowd and Group Animation” by Thalmann, Hery, Lippman, Ono, Regelous, et al. …

  • ©Daniel Thalmann, Seth Lippman, Hiromi Ono, Stephen Regelous, and Douglas Sutton



Entry Number: 33


    Crowd and Group Animation

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    Experience with computer animation is recommended but not mandatory.

    Intended Audience
    Animators and designers.

    A continuous challenge for special effects in movies is the production of realistic virtual crowds. This course presents state-of-the-art techniques and methods and explains in detail the different approaches to creating virtual crowds: particle systems with flocking techniques, using attraction and repulsion forces, copy-and-paste techniques, agent-based methods, and architecture of software tools, including the MASSIVE software used for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

    The course explores essential aspects of generating virtual crowds. In particular, it presents issues related to information (intentions, status, and knowledge), behavior (innate, group, complex, and guided), and control (programmed, autonomous, and guided). It emphasizes essential concepts such as sensory input (vision, audition, tactile), versatile motion control, artificial intelligence level, and rendering techniques.

    The course also reviews the new challenge in production of real-time crowds for games, VR systems for training and simulation, and augmented reality applications for cultural heritage (for example, adding virtual audiences in Roman or Greek theaters).

    The course is illustrated with many examples from recent movies (“Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Shrek”) and real-time applications in emergency situations and cultural heritage.

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