Using conventional animation techniques, animations are specified at a very low level, thus granting the animator complete control over every aspect of the animation. Complete animator control is sometimes required, especially in cartooning; however, it is generally unnecessary for the sorts of applications in which we are interested. Consider the case of animating a realistic virtual zoo: It is not important if some particular animal appears in some specific posture at some specific time instant; what is important is for the lions and monkeys to look real and for them to move and behave realistically. Complete animator control is also undesirable in our case because it implies little or no autonomy in the animated characters themselves. Therefore, a good strategy for our purposes is to relinquish low-level animator control in favor of a much higher level of control.
|Xiaoyuan Tu||January 1996|