Verbs and Adverbs: Multidimensional Motion Interpolation

Charles Rose, Michael Cohen and Bobby Bodenheimer

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, Sept. 1998


This paper describes methods and data structures to leverage motion sequences of complex linked figures. We present a technique for interpolating between example motions derived from live motion capture or produced through traditional animation tools. These motions might be characterized by emotional expressiveness or control behaviors such as turning or going uphill or downhill. We call such parameterized motions ``verbs'' and the parameters that control them ``adverbs.'' Verbs can be combined with other verbs to form a ``verb graph,'' with smooth transitions between them, allowing an animated figure to exhibit a vast repertoire of expressive behaviors. A combination of radial basis functions and low order polynomials is used to create the interpolation space between example motions. The addition of inverse kinematic constraints is used to avoid, for example, the feet slipping on the floor during a support phase of a walk cycle. Once the verbs and verb graph have been constructed, adverbs can be modified in real-time providing interactive or programmatic control over the characters' actions. This allows the creation of autonomous characters in a virtual environment that exhibit complex and subtle behavior.

Accompanying video (DivX, 100MB, a transfer from videotape).

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Last modified: Thu Oct 28 10:14:30 1999