Facial Animation

Björn Böttcher, Pawel Kazakow, and Helmut Weberpals
Research period: 2006-2007

Ever since Steven Spielberg has established computer animation as the preferred tool for special effects in the film industry and Pixar's success with Toy Story has proved it to be competitive to action in a feature length film, computer animation is leading to an unprecedented visual revolution. Among the most challenging tasks for an animator is attracting and maintaining the viewer's attention to a character using non-verbal communication.

This is the domain of facial animation: revealing affection, mood, and dedication of a character. Within this project we put the emphasis on developing a universal model to be easily adaptable to individual faces. Our approach is based on muscles which are simulated using systems of springs. Its implementation in Maya exploits the object oriented plug-in architecture to achieve a highly responsive interactive solution.