Michiel van de Panne

Monday, Prof. Michiel van de Panne

Department of Computer Science
University of British Columbia

Representations for Skilled Locomotion

The ability to move in the world is fundamental to humans and animals. The agility of a running cheetah or a parcour runner is a marvel to behold. Yet our best models for controlling robots or physics-based simulations are still a poor imitation of what nature has to offer. Is the missing ingredient a matter of computation, muscle memory, mechanics, sensing, or something else? I will recount my own forays into these issues, with a focus on skilled bipedal locomotion.
Progress in recent years has been accelerating, suggesting that agile animated characters and agile robots will soon be well within reach.
I will describe a number of simple ideas and approaches that go surprisingly far, and reflect on a number of red-herrings. Lastly, I point to future directions, including structure learning, dexterous manipulation, and crowd-sourced downloadable skills for characters and robots.

Michiel's Biography

David Baraff

Tuesday, Dr. David Baraff

Pixar Animation Studios
Richmond, CA

Ken's New Clothes: Pixar's 3D Cloth System

In the past, all of Pixar's feature films have modeled and constructed digital cloth models by starting with flat 2D panels, modeling flat pattern shapes, and assembling the pieces in space, just as real tailors do. With Pixar's latest feature (Toy Story 3, 2010), the studio has switched to a construction technique which features direct 3D modeling of garments. Though such an approach seems obvious, the story of how Pixar came to make this switch focuses on both technical and people/personel motiviated challenges at the studio. This talk will focus on assorted lessons learned and experience gained in modeling, rendering, and simulating the physics and motion of cloth at Pixar over the past ten years.

David's Biography

Jarek Rossignac

Wednesday, Prof. Jarek Rossignac

School of Interactive Computing
College of Computing
Georgia Tech

Smooth Interpolation of Shapes and Motions

We discuss three smooth animation techniques and their combinations. The ringing J-spline subdivision suggests the possibilities of streaming animations of deforming curves and surfaces to the GPU, one control mesh of a control frame at a time. The GPU computes smooth shapes for the desired intermediate frames ensuring C^4 continuity in time and space, but uses only a small foot-print (registers) to carry the subdivision. The ball-morph between two shapes is computed from the medial axis curve or surface of the gap between them. It produces constant speed and curvature vertex-trajectories that meet both shapes at right angle. The Steady Affine Motion (SAM) is “the most beautiful interpolating motion” between two affine transformations. It may be used to create steady (better than rigid) animations of shapes and of steady patterns, where the velocity of each point remains constant both in the local (moving) and in the global (fixed) frames.

Jarek's Biography