Sketching-out virtual humans: A smart interface for human modelling and animation

Chen Mao*, Sheng Feng Qin, David Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this paper, we present a fast and intuitive interface for sketching out 3D virtual humans and animation. The user draws stick figure key frames first and chooses one for "fleshing-out" with freehand body contours. The system automatically constructs a plausible 3D skin surface from the rendered figure, and maps it onto the posed stick figures to produce the 3D character animation. A "creative model-based method" is developed, which performs a human perception process to generate 3D human bodies of various body sizes, shapes and fat distributions. In this approach, an anatomical 3D generic model has been created with three distinct layers: skeleton, fat tissue, and skin. It can be transformed sequentially through rigid morphing, fatness morphing, and surface fitting to match the original 2D sketch. An auto-beautification function is also offered to regularise the 3D asymmetrical bodies from users' imperfect figure sketches. Our current system delivers character animation in various forms, including articulated figure animation, 3D mesh model animation, 2D contour figure animation, and even 2D NPR animation with personalised drawing styles. The system has been formally tested by various users on Tablet PC. After minimal training, even a beginner can create vivid virtual humans and animate them within minutes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-48
Number of pages13
JournalLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4569 LNCS
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Event8th International Symposium on Smart Graphics, SG 2007 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 25 Jun 200727 Jun 2007


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