This paper presents a highly efficient motion synthesis algorithm that is well suited for animating large numbers of characters. Given constraints that require characters to be in specific poses, positions, and orientations in specified time intervals, our algorithm synthesizes motions that exactly satisfy these constraints while avoiding inter-character collisions and collisions with the environment. We represent the space of possible actions with a motion graph and use search algorithms to generate motion. To provide a good initial guess for the search, we employ a fast path planner based on probabilistic roadmaps to navigate characters through complex environ-ments. Also, unlike existing algorithms, our search process allows for smooth, continual adjustments to position, orientation, and timing. This allows us both to satisfy constraints precisely and to generate motion much faster than would otherwise be possible.
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