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Making Digital Characters: Creation, Deformation, and Animation
Tuesday, 03 November
14:15 - 18:00
Kobe Int’l Conference Center, Room 403, Level 4

Making Digital Characters: Creation, Deformation, and Animation

Courses Information

Digital characters have been taken a very important role for filmmaking and video games over the last decade. Now we are at the border that the differences between digital crharacters and real ones are vanishing. A lot of recent advances of technologies have been contributed to the production of digital characters. A state-of-the-art workflow consists of three stages: creating of the facial and body puppet, applying the right deformation techniques to the puppet, and driving the puppet with keyframe animation or motion capture data through retargeting. In this course we would like to introduce most of the related works, and our goal is to present the best practice guide in terms of digital character production.

We start with an general overview of the process on how to make digital characters. It then focuses on the details about production of facial and body puppets through 3D acquisition of geometry and texture, template registration techniques that are based on generic deformation or morphable models, using deformation transfer to automatically create believable poses, and how to use motion capture data to enhance the current poses. The second part of the course will introduce various important deformation techniques such as skinning, pose space deformation, and how to do volumetric deformation based on real body medical imaging data. Finally several animation techniques will be presented to show how to make puppets perform.

Yoshiyasu Yusuke, Visiting Scholar at the Geometric Computation Group, Stanford University, Researcher at AIST Japan.
His research interests fall in the fields of Computer Graphics, Computer Vision and Biomechanics with an emphasis on Shape Deformation, Shape Matching and Dynamics Simulations.

Wan-Chun Alex Ma is a Computer Graphics Researcher at Weta Digital. He was a postdoctoral research associate at USC Institute for Creative Technologies from 2009 to 2011. His Ph.D. work on using polarized spherical gradient illumination is one of the state-of-the-art systems for capturing highly-detailed facial geometry and texture. It has been used in many feature films since then, including James Cameron’s Avatar. The technology was also transferred to Lightstage LLC, which provides professional facial scanning service. His research interests include performance capture, facial animation, image-based modeling, machine learning, and geometry processing.

Wan-Chun Alex Ma, Visiting Scholar at the Interactive Geometry Lab, ETH Zurich
Taehyun Rhee, senior lecturer of School of Engineering and Computer Science
Javier von der Pahlen, the R&D director at Activision Central Studio

Attendees who would like to understand the basics of making digital humans. This course is designed for general audience. However we think graphics developers in visual effects or video games industries and students who are interested in making digital characters should benefit more from this course.

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