Automatic skeletonization and skin attachment for realistic character animation.

Xie, X., 2009. Automatic skeletonization and skin attachment for realistic character animation. PhD Thesis (PhD). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

The realism of character animation is associated with a number of tasks ranging from modelling, skin defonnation, motion generation to rendering. In this research we are concerned with two of them: skeletonization and weight assignment for skin deformation. The fonner is to generate a skeleton, which is placed within the character model and links the motion data to the skin shape of the character. The latter assists the modelling of realistic skin shape when a character is in motion. In the current animation production practice, the task of skeletonization is primarily undertaken by hand, i.e. the animator produces an appropriate skeleton and binds it with the skin model of a character. This is inevitably very time-consuming and costs a lot of labour. In order to improve this issue, in this thesis we present an automatic skeletonization framework. It aims at producing high-quality animatible skeletons without heavy human involvement while allowing the animator to maintain the overall control of the process. In the literature, the tenn skeletonization can have different meanings. Most existing research on skeletonization is in the remit of CAD (Computer Aided Design). Although existing research is of significant reference value to animation, their downside is the skeleton generated is either not appropriate for the particular needs of animation, or the methods are computationally expensive. Although some purpose-build animation skeleton generation techniques exist, unfortunately they rely on complicated post-processing procedures, such as thinning and pruning, which again can be undesirable. The proposed skeletonization framework makes use of a new geometric entity known as the 3D silhouette that is an ordinary silhouette with its depth information recorded. We extract a curve skeleton from two 3D silhouettes of a character detected from its two perpendicular projections. The skeletal joints are identified by down sampling the curve skeleton, leading to the generation of the final animation skeleton. The efficiency and quality are major performance indicators in animation skeleton generation. Our framework achieves the former by providing a 2D solution to the 3D skeletonization problem. Reducing in dimensions brings much faster performances. Experiments and comparisons are carried out to demonstrate the computational simplicity. Its accuracy is also verified via these experiments and comparisons. To link a skeleton to the skin, accordingly we present a skin attachment framework aiming at automatic and reasonable weight distribution. It differs from the conventional algorithms in taking topological information into account during weight computation. An effective range is defined for a joint. Skin vertices located outside the effective range will not be affected by this joint. By this means, we provide a solution to remove the influence of a topologically distant, hence highly likely irrelevant joint on a vertex. A user-defined parameter is also provided in this algorithm, which allows different deformation effects to be obtained according to user's needs. Experiments and comparisons prove that the presented framework results in weight distribution of good quality. Thus it frees animators from tedious manual weight editing. Furthermore, it is flexible to be used with various deformation algorithms.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Bournemouth University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. If you feel this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Subjects:Generalities > Computer Science and Informatics
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:15913
Deposited By:Mrs Jill Burns
Deposited On:10 Aug 2010 14:14
Last Modified:10 Sep 2014 15:50

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