Perception Based Character Modeling and Animation
|Ergun Akleman||Mitsutoshi Higa||Tim McLaughlin||Lou Tassinary|
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
This sketch summarizes a recent experiment  designed to identify
a few general rules for altering the perceived sex, gender and
attractiveness of humanoid figures. The study is based on prior
research in the fields of evolutionary and perceptual psychology.
The results of this study can be used for both the modeling and
animation of gender specific characters.
The results are also informative with respect to the development
of user friendly modeling and animation software.
Successful animations are typically developed using simple rules for the modeling and animating of expressive characteristics. Examples of such rules are Preston Blair's  descriptions of cute, screwball, goofy and heavy characters. These rules, although not evaluated specifically by empirical studies, have proven extremely useful to animators. We believe there is a need for more formal and systematic investigations in order to understand more fully when and why such rules are either effective or ineffective. In this sketch, we investigate a few modeling and animation rules that influence the perception of sex (i.e., Male or Female), gender (i.e., Masculine or Feminine) and attractiveness.
|Figures with WTH ranging from .9 to .5.|
|Walk cycles from exaggerated "swagger" to "sway"|
|Bottles with varying WHR.|
The utility of empirically based character modeling and animation is demonstrated based on prior research and the results of a study recently completely in our laboratory. It is argued that the results of this research can and should be integrated into modeling and animation software to afford animators the ability to more directly manipulate parameters designed to effect the perceived sex, gender and attractiveness of characters. The use of similar methods may benefit animators generally by providing more intuitive controls for generating expressive figures and movements.
 Tassinary, L.G., Higa, M. & Akleman, E. (under review). Cues to sex, gender and attractiveness: The Waist-to-hip ratio and the Twist Index.
 Blair, P. (1995). Cartoon Animation, Walter Foster Publishing, Inc.
 Tassinary, L.G. & Hansen, K. (1998). A critical test of the waist-to-hip ratio hypothesis of female physical attractiveness. Psychological Science, 9, 150-155.
 Tim McLaughlin (1994). The expression of gender in synthetic actors: Modeling and motion control over invariant perceptual cues leading to gender recognition. Unpublished masters thesis, Texas A&M University.