Simulating Interactions Among Multiple Characters

Hubert P. H. Shum
PhD Thesis from the University of Edinburgh, 2010

Simulating Interactions Among Multiple Characters


In this thesis, we attack a challenging problem in the field of character animation: synthesizing interactions among multiple virtual characters in real-time. Although there are heavy demands in the gaming and animation industries, no systemic solution has been proposed due to the difficulties to model the complex behaviors of the characters.
We represent the continuous interactions among characters as a discrete Markov Decision Process, and design a general objective function to evaluate the immediate rewards of launching an action. By applying game theory such as tree expansion and min-max search, the optimal actions that benefit the character the most in the future are selected. The simulated characters can interact competitively while achieving the requests from animators cooperatively.
Since the interactions between two characters depend on a lot of criteria, it is difficult to exhaustively precompute the optimal actions for all variations of these criteria. We design an off-policy approach that samples and precomputes only meaningful interactions. With the precomputed policy, the optimal movements under different situations can be evaluated in real-time.
To simulate the interactions for a large number of characters with minimal computational overhead, we propose a method to precompute short durations of interactions between two characters as connectable patches. The patches are concatenated spatially to generate interactions with multiple characters, and temporally to generate longer interactions. Based on the optional instructions given by the animators, our system automatically applies concatenations to create a huge scene of interacting crowd.
We demonstrate our system by creating scenes with high quality interactions. On one hand, our algorithm can automatically generate artistic scenes of interactions such as the fighting scenes in movies that involve hundreds of characters. On the other hand, it can create controllable, intelligent characters that interact with the opponents for real-time applications such as 3D computer games.





 author={Shum, Hubert P. H.},
 title={Simulating Interactions Among Multiple Characters},
 publisher={University of Edinburgh},
 Address={Edinburgh, UK},


AU  - Shum, Hubert P. H.
TI  - Simulating Interactions Among Multiple Characters
PY  - 2010
PB  - University of Edinburgh
ER  - 

Plain Text

Hubert P. H. Shum, "Simulating Interactions Among Multiple Characters," University of Edinburgh, 2010.

Supporting Grants

Similar Research

Hubert P. H. Shum, Taku Komura, Masashi Shiraishi and Shuntaro Yamazaki, "Interaction Patches for Multi-Character Animation", ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) - Proceedings of the 2008 ACM SIGGRAPH Asia, 2008
Hubert P. H. Shum, Taku Komura and Shuntaro Yamazaki, "Simulating Interactions of Avatars in High Dimensional State Space", Proceedings of the 2008 ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D), 2008
Hubert P. H. Shum, Taku Komura and Shuntaro Yamazaki, "Simulating Multiple Character Interactions with Collaborative and Adversarial Goals", IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 2012
Hubert P. H. Shum and Taku Komura, "Generating Realistic Fighting Scenes by Game Tree", Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA) Posters, 2006
Hubert P. H. Shum and Taku Komura, "Technical Note: Generating Realistic Fighting Scenes by Game Tree", arXiv Preprint, 2006
Taku Komura, Hubert P. H. Shum and Edmond S. L. Ho, "Simulating Interactions of Characters", Proceedings of the 2008 ACM International Conference on Motion in Games (MIG), 2008
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Edmond S. L. Ho, Hubert P. H. Shum, Yiu-ming Cheung and P. C. Yuen, "Topology Aware Data-Driven Inverse Kinematics", Computer Graphics Forum (CGF) - Proceedings of the 2013 Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications (PG), 2013
Taku Komura and Hubert P. H. Shum, "Manufacturing Video Graphics", Patent from the World Intellectual Property Organization, 2010



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