SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
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33. Crowd and Group Animation
Wednesday, Full Day, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Room 515A
Level: Intermediate

A continuous challenge for special effects in movies is the production of realistic virtual crowds. This course presents state-of-the-art techniques and methods and explains in detail the different approaches to creating virtual crowds: particle systems with flocking techniques, using attraction and repulsion forces, copy-and-paste techniques, agent-based methods, and architecture of software tools, including the MASSIVE software used for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

The course explores essential aspects of generating virtual crowds. In particular, it presents issues related to information (intentions, status, and knowledge), behavior (innate, group, complex, and guided), and control (programmed, autonomous, and guided). It emphasizes essential concepts such as sensory input (vision, audition, tactile), versatile motion control, artificial intelligence level, and rendering techniques.

The course also reviews the new challenge in production of real-time crowds for games, VR systems for training and simulation, and augmented reality applications for cultural heritage (for example, adding virtual audiences in Roman or Greek theaters).

The course is illustrated with many examples from recent movies ("Star Wars," "Lord of the Rings," "Shrek") and real-time applications in emergency situations and cultural heritage.

Prerequisites
Experience with computer animation is recommended but not mandatory.

Intended Audience
Animators and designers.

Organizer
Daniel Thalmann
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Lecturers
Christophe Hery
Industrial Light + Magic

Seth Lippman
PDI/DreamWorks

Hiromi Ono
Industrial Light + Magic

Stephen Regelous
Massive Software

Douglas Sutton
Industrial Light + Magic

Daniel Thalmann
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Schedule
8:30
  • Virtual Humans: Individuals, Groups, and Crowds
  • Crowd Concepts
  • State-of-the-Art
  • ViCrowd
  • Acceleration techniques for rendering
  • Motion Control
  • Intelligence, Perception and Memory
Thalmann
9:30
  • Real-time Crowds
  • Introduction
  • System design
  • Behaviors
  • Rendering
  • Authoring
  • Applications: VR training, Virtual Heritage
  • Future
Thalmann
10:30
  • Introduction
  • From Choreography to Rendering (Overview of ILM's Crowd System)
  • Example of Behavior From Episode 2 ArenaSequence
  • Example of Terrain Adaptation From Episode 2 Battle Sequence
  • Example of Herding in Jurassic Park 3
  • Example of Flocking in Van Helsing
  • Conclusion
Hery, Ono, and Sutton
12:15 Lunch
1:45 Shrek2 Crowd Demo Reel
Lippman
1:50 Quick Summary of the New Technologies and Techniques Used in Shrek 2 Crowds
Lippman
2:05
  • Expanded Geometric Variations
  • Expanded Material Variations
  • Weighting of Rule Influences
  • Model Storage Format (Proprietary Compression Format)
  • Integration of Scatter Tool for Initial Layout of Crowd Characters
  • DCCs (Dynamic Crowd Character)
  • Hair/Fur Generation
Lippman
2:25
  • Mob System Overview:
  • Motion (Who, What, and Where)
  • Rendering
Lippman
2:45
  • Details of the New Technologies and Techniques Used in Shrek 2 Crowds:
  • Expanded Geometric Variations
  • Expanded Material Variations
  • Weighting of Rule Influences
  • Model Storage Format (Proprietary Compression Format)
  • Integration of Scatter Brain for Initial Layout of Crowd Characters
  • DCCs (Dynamic Crowd Character)
  • Hair/Fur Generation
Lippman
3:15 Shot Breakdown - 2700 / 5
Lippman
3:35 Break
3:45
  • Autonomous Agents
  • Autonomy
  • Reactivity
  • Emotions
  • Personality
  • Mobility
  • Sensory models
  • A.I. and A-Life methods
  • A.I. methods
  • A-Life methods
  • Emergent behaviors
  • Crowds for film
  • MASSIVE
  • Embodied agents
  • Fuzzy logic
  • High level control
  • Low level control
  • Integration
  • Motion fidelity
  • Terrain adaptation
  • Flocking
  • A.I. in Massive
Regelous

 
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