Animation Editor

Animation Editor is an interactive tool for the graphical specification, presentation and modification of the values of animation parameters for computer facial models. The parameters can represent muscle contraction values, coordinates of feature points or any parameters used to control a facial model. The model to be animated must be prepared to communicate the definition - types and ranges - of their parameters to Animation Editor and to respond to the parameter values produced through it.

The animation editor operates on a window which looks like a musical score. There is a 'staff' for every animation parameter; the lines on each staff reflects the values the parameter can take. The behaviour in time of an animation parameter is specified by placing points on its staff. They are entered, moved and deleted by mouse-operations.

One can perform editing operations - cut and paste operations, time- and value scaling - on portions of curves and on sets of them. Performer data can be read in and presented in the scores. Parts of earlier made animations - also performer data - can be copied and pasted to a different set of parameters, allowing e.g. to animate different - realistic as well as 2D chartoon-like - faces on the bases of performer data.

The editor can produce as output animation scripts (movies) in ascii format by sampling the curves at a rate which is set by the user. Such a file can be used as input for the corresponding model, or the corresponding model can communicate directly with the editor, allowing for feed back - snapshots, replay of selected parts - wile editing the animation curves.

There also is a facility to switch on and off an arbitrary number of audio channels. If the audio is first annotated with (ascii) labels, (e.g. using a program like SGI's soundtrack) AnimEditor will display these labels at their proper place in time. Thereby one can synchronize the audio with the animation parameters.

Finally, AnimEditor takes care of constraints. In its present version, it prevents the user from "corrupting the arrow of time". A choice of constraints, constraint-based definition of building blocks like 'smile' and more powerful constraint management (e.g. to switch on-off constraints on control points, parameters or parameter sets) is planned for the nearby future (see publications for details).

The Animation Editor is written in Java 1.1, allowing platform-independent as well as Internet applications.

AnimEditor is coupled with the FacePlayer, and FaceEditor together functioning as a 2D facial animation editing environment, called CharToon (see architecture).

For this project contact: Han Noot or Zsófia Ruttkay.

For a totally redesigned commercial version of CharToon, contact Paul ten Hagen at Epictoid for further information.

This page was last modified on
. Maintained by Han Noot.