Virtual Humans on Stage

Magnenat-Thalmann, N. and Moccozet, L.

Abstract: We describe a framework for modeling human body parts, animating them, and putting them in ’virtual’ scene in the context of Virtual Reality. Modeling human bodies for Virtual Reality environments defines some constraints on the way body parts have to be modeled. The modeling has to meet two major goals: the resulting body must be able to be animated, which requires more data structures than the 3D geometric shape, and the animation must run in real-time. To fulfill these two objectives, the modeling of the human body is then much more complex than simply reconstructing its 3D shape. Many more aspects have to be considered, which this paper addresses by describing some efficient approaches. We consider a virtual human as a set of two types of data: the 3D shape and the animation structures. Both are taken into consideration in the modeling process. The resulting human body model can be fed to a scalable human body animation model to simulate virtual humans and clones ready to evolve inside a virtual environment. The resulting functional virtual humans have then to be put in scene in order to move inside their virtual environment and interact with it. Various case studies are described including standalone and distributed applications. Realistic virtual humans should not be limited to simulating their body. A virtual human should be considered as a whole with his accessories. Among these accessories, the most important are the clothes. We open the way towards dressed virtual humans, by defining the current status of our work in terms of interactive clothes design, virtual humans clothing and clothes simulation, and raise some still open issues in order to integrate clothes and virtual dressed humans in VR environments.

  booktitle = {Virtual Worlds: Synthetic Universes, Digital Life and Complexity},
  author = {Magnenat-Thalmann, N. and Moccozet, L.},
  title = {Virtual Humans on Stage},
  publisher = {Perseus Books Group, Jean Clause Heudin (ed.)},
  number = {Chapter 4},
  pages = {95-126},
  year = {1998},
  topic = {Modelling techniques}