Triggering Artwork Swaps for Live Animation

Nora S. Willett, Wilmot Li, Jovan Popović, Adam Finkelstein

Best Paper Award
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Abstract: Live animation of 2D characters is a new form of storytelling that has started to appear on streaming platforms and broadcast TV. Unlike traditional animation, human performers control characters in real time so that they can respond and improvise to live events. Current live animation systems provide a range of animation controls, such as camera input to drive head movements, audio for lip sync, and keyboard shortcuts to trigger discrete pose changes via artwork swaps. However, managing all of these controls during a live performance is challenging. In this work, we present a new interactive system that specifically addresses the problem of triggering artwork swaps in live settings. Our key contributions are the design of a multi-touch triggering interface that overlays visual triggers around a live preview of the character, and a predictive triggering model that leverages practice performances to suggest pose transitions during live performances. We evaluate our system with quantitative experiments, a user study with novice participants, and interviews with professional animators.

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Willett, N. S., Li, W., Popovic, J., & Finkelstein, A., (2017, October). Triggering artwork swaps for live animation. In Proceedings of the 30h annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 85-95). ACM.

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