Emerging Technologies

Tangible and Modular Input Device for Character Articulation

Articulation of 3D characters requires control over many degrees of freedom: a difficult task with standard 2D interfaces. This project demonstrates a tangible input device composed of interchangeable, hot-pluggable parts. Embedded sensors measure the device's pose at rates suitable for real-time editing and animation. Splitter parts allow branching to accommodate any skeletal tree. During assembly, the device continuously recognizes topological changes as individual parts or pre-assembled subtrees are plugged and unplugged. A novel semi-automatic registration approach helps the user quickly map the device's degrees of freedom to a virtual skeleton inside the character. The device provides input for character rigging and automatic weight computation, direct skeletal deformation, interaction with physical simulations, and handle-based variational geometric modeling.

User studies report favorable comparisons to mouse and keyboard interfaces.

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Alec Jacobson
ETH Zürich

Daniele Panozzo
ETH Zürich

Oliver Glauser
ETH Zürich

Cedric Pradalier
GeorgiaTech Lorraine

Otmar Hilliges
ETH Zürich

Olga Sorkine-Hornung
ETH Zürich