Department of Computer Science and Technology

Technical reports

Practical behavioural animation based on vision and attention

Mark F.P. Gillies

September 2001, 187 pages

DOI: 10.48456/tr-522


The animation of human like characters is a vital aspect of computer animation. Most animations rely heavily on characters of some sort or other. This means that one important aspect of computer animation research is to improve the animation of these characters both by making it easier to produce animations and by improving the quality of animation produced. One approach to animating characters is to produce a simulation of the behaviour of the characters which will automatically animate the character.

The dissertation investigates the simulation of behaviour in practical applications. In particular it focuses on models of visual perception for use in simulating human behaviour. A simulation of perception is vital for any character that interacts with its surroundings. Two main aspects of the simulation of perception are investigated:

– The use of psychology for designing visual algorithms.

– The simulation of attention in order to produce both behaviour and gaze patterns.

Psychological theories are a useful starting point for designing algorithms for simulating visual perception. The dissertation investigates their use and presents some algorithms based on psychological theories.

Attention is the focusing of a person’s perception on a particular object. The dissertation presents a simulation of what a character is attending to (looking at). This is used to simulate behaviour and for animating eye movements.

The algorithms for the simulation of vision and attention are applied to two tasks in the simulation of behaviour. The first is a method for designing generic behaviour patterns from simple pieces of motion. The second is a behaviour pattern for navigating a cluttered environment. The simulation of vision and attention gives advantages over existing work on both problems. The approaches to the simulation of perception will be evaluated in the context of these examples.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Gillies, Mark F.P.},
  title = 	 {{Practical behavioural animation based on vision and
  year = 	 2001,
  month = 	 sep,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  doi = 	 {10.48456/tr-522},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-522}