Georgia Tech Develops Skeleton-Free Character Design
Central to the research was solving how soft body characters would employ a balancing strategy during movement. Characters with skeletal support can use their relatively unchanging contact points with the ground to maintain balance (feet size doesn’t change), but soft body characters without legs might have to lengthen their bodies and slide (expanding surface contact) or jump (breaking surface contact). The researchers actively exploited these different types of contact strategies to achieve control goals, including balance.
“We believe this research contribution is one that can apply broadly to other problems in animation control,” Liu says.
A video of the researchers’ soft body models in action can be found at http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~jtan34/project/softBodyLocomotion.html
Greg Turk will be honored this year at SIGGRAPH with the Computer Graphics Achievement Award and Karen Liu will receive the Significant New Researcher Award. This research was funded by NSF CCF-811485, IIS-11130934 and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Source: Georgia Tech