Cognitive and computer scientists team up to develop new techniques for duplicating human actions in the virtual world
As realistic as computer graphics and animation can be, there is always an unnatural nuance or two that prevent viewers or users from fully believing in what they see. Computer scientist Marcelo Kallmann and cognitive scientist Teenie Matlock at the University of California, Merced, have received about $500,000 from the National Science Foundation’s Human-Centered Computing Program to try to improve that.
The research project will develop new techniques for producing realistic human-like gestures based on data collected from people in real life, with the particular goal of being able to correctly parameterize gestures with respect to objects and arbitrary locations in a virtual environment. The end result can benefit anyone who needs to use animation or computer graphics, from computer game and movie makers to creators of online tutorials.
“The first step for us is to understand how people use gestures to instruct and demonstrate objects and actions in real situations, which will then enable us to create a model to reproduce that interaction for generic situations in the virtual world,” Kallmann said.