Comic Chat

David Kurlander
Tim Skelly
Microsoft Research

David H. Salesin
University of Washington

Comics have a rich visual vocabulary, and people find them appealing. They are also an effective form of communication. We have built a system, called Comic Chat, that represents on-line communications in the form of comics. Comic Chat automates numerous aspects of comics generation, including balloon construction and layout, the placement and orientation of comic characters, the default selection of character gestures and expressions, the incorporation of semantic panel elements, and the choice of zoom factor for the virtual camera. This paper describes the mechanisms that Comic Chat uses to perform this automation, as well as novel aspects of the programís user interface. Comic Chat is a working program, allowing groups of people to communicate over the Internet. It has several advantages over other graphical chat programs, including the availability of a graphical history, and a dynamic graphical presentation.

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