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Primary Contributions

This thesis contributes both to the field of computer graphics and to the field of artificial life. It leverages the synergy between these two fields for the realistic modeling, simulation, and animation of animals. Our contributions have been published in the computer graphics literature [Tu and Terzopoulos1994a, Tu and Terzopoulos1994b] and in the artificial life literature [Terzopoulos, Tu and Grzeszczuk1994a, Terzopoulos, Tu and Grzeszczuk1994b].

In computer graphics, our work is the first to combine within a unified framework extensive physics-based graphics models, locomotion control, and higher-level behavioral models for animation. In the context of artificial life, we develop animats of unprecedented realism and sophistication. Our life-like animations of fish in their habitat demonstrate a functional model that captures the interplay of physics, locomotion, perception and behavior in animals. The behaviors that our artificial animals emulate range from reflexive behaviors to motivational behaviors, and from complex individual behaviors to elaborate group behavior. It is important to appreciate that our goal is not to attempt to replicate the complete behavioral repertoire of any one specific fish species but, rather, to develop a generic behavioral model suited to the animation of various species of fishes.

The main contributions of this thesis in more detail are as follows:


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Xiaoyuan TuJanuary 1996