Locomotion for Crowd Animation
Martin Prazak, PhD Dissertation, Trinity College Dublin, 2012
Real-time computer animation is an essential part of modern computer games and virtual reality applications. While rendering provides the main part of what can be described as “visual experience”, it is the movement of the characters that gives the final impression of realism. Unfortunately, realistic human animation has proven to be a very hard challenge.
Some fields of computer graphics have a compact and precise mathematical description of the underlying principles. Rendering, for example, has the rendering equation, and each realistic rendering technique provides its approximate solution. Due to its highly complex nature, character animation is not one of these fields. That is one of the reasons why even single character animation still provides significant research challenges. The challenges posed by a crowd simulator, required to populate a virtual world, are even larger. This is not only because of the large number of simultaneously displayed characters, which necessitate the use of level-of-detail approaches, but also the requirement of reactive behaviour, which can be provided only by a complex multi-level planning module.
In this thesis, we address the problem of human animation for crowds as a component of a crowd simulator.