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Cyber Bunraku

Bunraku, the traditional Japanese puppet show, was originally established as one of the most popular entertainments in Japan a few hundred years ago. In a Bunraku play, a puppet is manipulated by three puppeteers: one for facial expressions and the other two for body movement.

Cyber Bunraku is an experimental system that supports manipulation of CG characters in real time. A facial expression tracker is used by the facial performer, while the puppeteering device for body movement is used by a traditional Bunraku puppeteer. The two performers create the 3D CG character's movements, behaviors, and emotions, which allows the audience to enjoy a brand-new traditional art form. The system was developed by Hitachi, Ltd. and Fuji Television Network, Inc.

Kiyoshi Arai
Central Research Laboratory
Hitachi, Ltd.
1-280 Higashi Koigakubo, Kokubunji
Tokyo 185, JAPAN
arai@crl.hitachi.co.jp

Collaborators
Ken-ichi Anjyo, Yasuhiro Higashide, and Hiroshi Sakamoto