5 Pages

"Moving" Avatars: Emotion Synthesis in Virtual Worlds

The ability to simulate lifelike interactive characters has many applications. Human faces may act as visual interfaces that help users feel at home when interacting with a computer because they are accepted as the most expressive means for communicating and recognizing emotions. Thus, a lifelike human face can enhance interactive applications by providing straightforward feedback to and from the users and stimulating emotional responses from them. Numerous applications can benefit from employing believable, expressive characters since such features significantly enhance the atmosphere of a virtual world and communicate messages far more vividly than any textual or speech information. In this paper, we present an abstract means of description of expressions, by utilizing concepts included in the MPEG-4 standard. Furthermore, we exploit these concepts to synthesize a wide variety of expressions using a reduced representation, suitable for networked and lightweight applications.