CS 229
Topics in Algorithmic Animation

Fall 2000
Lubrano, 4th floor CIT
MWF 1:00-2:00

Read the cs229 newsgroup.

Check out the Final Projects Gallery!


This course explores the use of algorithms in animation. Goals of algorithmic animation include assisting artists in creating animated pieces, simulating phenomena in nature, and producing behavior that appears intelligent. This year, the focus of the course will be on producing expressive, natural looking, animated human motion. We will cover mathematical background and current research, drawing from robotics as well as animation. Grades will be based on a number of small projects in the first half of the course, a final project in the second half of the course, homework assignments, and contribution to class discussion.


Nancy S. Pollard
501 CIT, 863-7605
Office Hours:MWF 2-3 or send email to schedule an appointment.


Brett Levin
Office Hours: TBA

Paul Reitsma
Office Hours: Tues. 3-5, 549 CIT


An approximate syllabus appears below. This will change.

Date Topic Reading Assignments
Sept 6 Course Introduction The Illusion of Life, Ch 1 -
Sept 8 Posing a 3D Character: transformations, forward kinematics, and the scene graph Maestri, Ch 7-9 -
Sept 11 Keyframing: smooth motion using splines Splines handout Homework 1
Motion Capture / Splines OUT
Sept 13 Keyframing: smoothing and cyclifying motion using B-Splines (optional) Lee, Wolberg, and Shin TVCG '97 Homework 1 DUE in class
Sept 15 Variety: Textured Noise Perlin TVCG '95 -
Sept 18 Expressiveness: Effort / Shape Chi et al. SIG '00 -
Sept 20 3D orientation: the trouble w/ Euler Angles Watt and Watt, pp 356-368 -
Sept 22 3D orientation: Quaternions (optional) Kim, Kim, and Shin, SIG '95 Motion Capture / Splines DUE
Interpolating 3D OrientationsOUT
Sept 25 Inverse Kinematics: basics - Homework 2 OUT
Sept 27 Inverse Kinematics: multiple constraints Zhao and Badler TOG '94 -
Sept 29 Inverse Kinematics: motion editing I Lee and Shin SIG '99 Homework 2 DUE in class
Oct 2 Inverse Kinematics: motion editing II Gleicher SIG '98 Interpolating 3D Orientations DUE
Oct 4 Dynamics: building a simulator Baraff SIG '97 course notes -
Oct 6 Dynamics: linked systems - -
Oct 9 Holiday - Columbus Day - -
Oct 11 Dynamics: spatial vectors Spatial Vectors handout Homework 3 OUT
Oct 13 Dynamics: more spatial vectors Lazlo et al. SIG '00 Homework 3 DUE in class
Homework 4 OUT
Oct 16 Final Project Brainstorming - Homework 4 DUE in class
Dynamics and InteractionOUT
Oct 18 Spacetime Constraints: physically plausible lamps Witkin and Kass SIG '88 -
Oct 20 Spacetime Constraints: physically plausible humans Popovic and Witkin SIG '99 Homework 5
Oct 23 Learning: evolving simple control systems I Ngo and Marks, SIG '93 Homework 5 DUE in class
Oct 25 Learning: evolving simple control systems II van de Panne and Fiume, SIG '93 -
Oct 27 Learning: evolving creatures for competition Sims, SIG '94 Dynamics and Interaction DUE
Oct 30 Learning: adding structure to the learning process Grzeszczuk and Terzopoulos SIG '95 -
Nov 1 Learning: learning a physics model Grzeszczuk, Terzopoulos, and Hinton SIG '98 -
Nov 3 Guest Lecture: Henry Kauffman,Nearlife - Final Project Proposals DUE
Nov 6 Final Project Proposals - -
Nov 8 Final Project Proposals - -
Nov 10 Final Project Proposals - -
Nov 13 Style: scattered data interpolation Rose, Cohen, and Bodenheimer, CG&A '98 Revised Project Proposals DUE
Nov 15 Style: HMM's and PCA - -
Nov 17 Style: style vs. content in animation Brand and Hertzmann SIG '00 -
Nov 20 Style: style vs. content in other domains (optional) Tenenbaum and Freeman, MERL TR '99 -
Nov 22 Holiday - Thanksgiving - -
Nov 24 Holiday - Thanksgiving - -
Nov 27 Artistic License: view-dependent animation Rademacher SIG '99 -
Nov 29 Artistic License: image-spaces Ngo et al. SIG '00 -
Dec 1 Video: video textures Schodl et al. SIG '00 Final Project Writeup DUE
Dec 4 Final Project Presentations - -
Dec 6 Final Project Presentations - -
Dec 8 Final Project Presentations - -

Final Project Ideas

Here are some ideas for final projects.


All of the readings will be in the course packet or available online, with the exception of a few chapters from Maestri and a few pages from Watt and Watt. Some of the other books listed below may also be useful.


Class references here...


Your grade will be based on the final project, small projects, and homeworks as follows: You can turn in a project late, but if it is n days late, 2n points (from 100) will be subtracted from your final score. Weekends count as one day (from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday).

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Nancy Pollard