Leveraging the Talent of Hand Animators
to Create Three-Dimensional Animation

The skills required to create compelling three-dimensional animation using computer software are quite different from those required to create compelling hand animation with pencil and paper. The three-dimensional medium has several advantages over the traditional medium- it is easy to relight the scene, render it from different viewpoints, and add physical simulations. In this work, we propose a method to leverage the talent of traditionally trained hand animators to create three-dimensional animation, while allowing them to work in the medium that is familiar to them. The input to our algorithm is a set of hand-animated frames. Our key insight is to use motion capture data as a source of domain knowledge and 'lift' the two-dimensional animation to three dimensions, while maintaining the unique style of the input animation. A motion capture clip is projected to two dimensions, the limbs are aligned with the hand-drawn frames, and then the motion is reconstructed into three dimensions. We demonstrate our algorithm on a variety of hand animated motion sequences on different characters, including ballet, a stylized sneaky walk, and a sequence of jumping jacks.



"Leveraging the Talent of Hand Animators to Create Three-Dimensional Animation"
Eakta Jain, Yaser Sheikh, Jessica Hodgins.
Proceedings of Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA), August 2009.

New! See the related journal paper published in ACM Transactions on Graphics in January 2012

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Acknowledgements Thanks to Glen Keane and Tom LaBaff for providing the input animations, and to Justin Macey and Moshe Mahler for help with motion capture and video. Thanks also to Autodesk for their donation of the 3D animation and rendering package Maya, and to Disney Research for summer funding.

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