Character Body Expression in 3D Computer Animation: A New Posing Approach (PhD Research Project)

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English
Type: 
Master, Doctorate and Post-Doctorate
Main researcher: 
José Fonseca (100%)
Team elements (%affectation): 
Prof. Jian Zhang (1st Supervisor), Dr. Ari Sarafopoulos (2nd Supervisor)
Abstract: 

This research concerns the process of animating the 3D character’s body expression and how it is made by the animator. So, the focus of the research is on the animator’s practice, particularly of the Posing phase of the animation process. Posing is not one of the 12 Principles of Animation but the sum of some of the principles that the animator has to keep in mind when creating Key Poses for any specific movement of an animated character. Having so many variables in mind is a very demanding task for the animator and, for that reason, some may be involuntary neglected in the process.
Therefore, this aspect of the 3D animation process is very critical to the final creative result of the animation, in terms of character's expression, because if the key poses are not very well defined, the computer may not generate sufficiently expressive animation. In consideration of this, this research develops the hypothesis that a solution is located within Posing, in the Animation Blocking phase of the process. This thesis proposes that by systematising the procedure for Posing by taking advantage of some Traditional Animation, Fine Arts and Acting concepts and its underlying rationale, the animator should be able to create character body expression in an easier and less time-consuming way, introducing better methods of efficiency and to achieve better creative results.
The thesis will therefore make the argument that such a solution gives the animator the possibility to work the body expression as a whole and to keep in mind the rationale underlying those concepts, the resulting character animation would be very expressive and made in a more efficient way.

Objectives: 

The aim of this research is to investigate ways to improve the body expression of 3D computer animation characters, particularly in the Posing phase of the process, and find a solution to help the animators to do their job in a more creative and efficient way. This will be done by defining a new approach to the process and also by designing and developing a tool – working as a plug-in in an Animation software – to give the animator a better and more efficient control of the Posing process, when animating a 3D character.
The ultimate goal is to contribute to knowledge on the practice of animating a character's body expression in 3D computer animation.

Activities: 

Present stage: Testing/validation process Completion: expected to January 2014

State: 
Ongoing
Research group: 
Visual and Interactive Art
Summary: 

Character Body Expression in 3D Computer Animation: a New Posing Approach (PhD research project) This research concerns the process of animating the 3D character’s body expression and how it is made by the animator. So, the focus of the research is on the animator’s practice, particularly of the Posing phase of the animation process.