Direct Control of Simulated Non-human Characters



We present an intuitive technique to control simulated self-propelled characters. In our system, a user can control the motions of a character by directly guiding the character to a desired position with mouse drags while a physics simulation determines the character's motion. Based on the user input, the system automatically computes the actuator command that causes the character to follow the user's intention as closely as possible while respecting the underlying physics. This direct control can be more intuitive to use than existing methods, such as controlling character joints to track a given joint trajectory or set of keyframes, especially when physically plausible dynamic motions are desired. We show the power of our method by creating realistic motions of various kinds of characters in our interactive user interface system, including rigid characters, characters with deformable bodies and rigid skeletons, and self locomoting characters whose bodies form closed loops.


Junggon Kim and Nancy S. Pollard, "Direct Control of Simulated Non-human Characters," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 56-65, July/Aug. 2011.


Additional links

The following videos were created with our user interface system by others.

Related project

Check the following project to see how to physically simulate the deformable body characters such as the starfish and the swim tube during the interactive direct control.

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