Synthetic Characters Skunk Works

This is a collection of smaller projects currently being pursued by the Synthetic Characters group. (1) C4.3 is the latest iteration of our toolkit for building adaptive and expressive synthetic characters. All of our projects are done using this Java- and C++-based toolkit, and the toolkit evolves as the lessons from the projects are incorporated into it. The system runs on Mac OS X and Windows 2000. (2) New Languages from Old are extensions to the Java programming language and the Java runtime custom-made for the problems faced by behavior designers. (3) Sequence, Sequences and More Sequences is a unification and diversification of our current sequence-learning strategies for new applications to behavior creation and motion understanding. (4) Stochastic Convolution Rendering creates new, painterly, expressive, and emphatically non-photorealistic graphics within our C4/magic graphics system. (5) Experiments in Intelligent Form are early sketches in force-field-based motor representations for synthetic characters, found far away from engineering concerns for optimality or the aesthetic concerns of 3-D computer graphics. (6) Expressive Inverse Kinematics: while the theory of inverse kinematics is well-understood, its application in real-time settings for synthetic characters that must always "move in character" remains problematic. In this project we are investigating new representations and approaches to inverse kinematics that allow the algorithm to take advantage of previously sampled motion. The hope is that by doing so, the algorithm can infer joint constraints, as well as the quality of movement that defines the character.