The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Robin Sloan

Contextualising dynamic emotional facial expression animation

easingly, automated techniques for animation production are being used to create believable, interactive characters for computer games. Procedural animation software can be used to quickly and efficiently manipulate character animation in real time, addressing issues such as the effect of physical forces on character dynamics. However, there is arguably a growing demand for computer game characters which are not only interactive, but also capable of delivering engaging performances. In this paper, the results of two practice-based studies of facial animation are described. The aim of the research is to explore the dynamics of emotional expression performance through animation practice, in an attempt to contextualise specific ‘choreographies’ of facial movement. Ultimately, the research should lead to a better understanding of how temporal expressions are interpreted, laying the foundations for procedurally animated, high-performance interactive characters.

Biographical statement:
Final year PhD student Robin Sloan is involved in research and teaching within the Institute for Arts, Media and Computer Games at the University of Abertay Dundee, one of the world’s leading institutions for games education. With an educational background in computer arts and practical experience in the computer games sector, Robin has research interests in game art and design, interactive character performances, and practice-based research. His project ‘Emotional Avatars’ is specifically focussed on the production and perception of facial animation, set within the wider context of animation for computer games.