Topics in Computer Graphics: Character Animation (Winter 2010)


This course will explore computational techniques for animating computer-generated characters in games, virtual worlds, movies, and other applications. The first part of the course will cover basic techniques. The second part will be devoted to reading, analyzing, and discussing recent research in character animation, with an eye towards open problems.

Contact Information

·         Instructor

o    Pierre Boulanger

o    Office: CSC 414

o    Office hours: by appointment

Meeting Times

·         Thursday, 10:00AM-12:15PM CSC 363

Readings and Handouts



January 14th

Geometric continuity, shape parameters, and geometric constructions for Catmull-Rom splines

January 21th

Animating rotation with quaternion curves

January 28th

Computational modeling for the computer animation of legged figures

February 4th

No class

February 11th

Principles of traditional animation applied to 3D computer animation
Motion warping

February 18h

Motion signal processing

February 25th

Animation of dynamic legged locomotion
Animating human athletics

March 4th

Spacetime constraints

March 11th

Reusable motion synthesis using state-space controllers

March 18th

Motion editing with spacetime constraints
Retargeting motion to new characters

March 25th

Verbs and adverbs
Motion capture assisted animation: texturing and synthesis

April 1st

Motion graphs
Interactive motion generation from examples
Interactive control of avatars animated with human motion data

April 8th

Student Presentation

Lecture Slides





January 14th

Course Overview


January 21th



January 28th

Animating Orientation


February 4th



February 11th



February 18th

Motion Capture



          No Midterm/Final.




  1. Paper presentation (25%)
  2. Class participation (15%)
  3. Project (60%)









A good knowledge of computer graphics (CMPUT411) and a reasonable familiarity of the C programming language is necessary. You might have to know some C++ depending on the programs you choose for your project.




Most of your grade will come from two projects that will total 60% of your grade. Both projects are mandatory. Plan on check pointing your project with the instructor (showing your progress) at various stages during your project. You must checkpoint at least once for the first project and at least twice for the second part of the project. These checkpoints will be part of your grade. You are not required to stay with the same group for both projects. Check the syllabus for more details.