Carnegie Mellon University
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Direct Control of Simulated Non-human Characters

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-07-01, 00:00 authored by Junggon Kim, Nancy Pollard

A proposed system lets users directly control simulated self-propelled characters. Users drag a mouse to guide the character, while a physics simulation determines the motion. On the basis of the user input, the system computes an actuator command that causes the character to follow the user's intention as closely as possible while respecting the underlying physics. This direct control can be more intuitive than methods such as controlling character joints to track a given joint trajectory or using keyframes, especially when physically plausible dynamic motions are desired. With the system, users have created realistic motions of various kinds of characters, including rigid characters, characters with deformable bodies and rigid skeletons, and self-locomoting characters whose bodies form closed loops. The Web extras are screen-captured demos of algorithms for creating dynamic motions on various kinds of characters, and the resulting character animations. You can also view the videos on YouTube here: Part 1,; Part 2,