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IMAGINE Research team

Intuitive Modeling and Animation for Interactive Graphics & Narrative Environments

Team presentation

IMAGINE stand for: "Intuitive Modeling and Animation for Interactive Graphics & Narrative Environments". The challenge we aim to address is the efficient, interactive creation of animated 3D content. To this end, our goal is to develop a new generation of knowledge-based models for shapes, motion and virtual cinematography. These models will embed both procedural methods, enabling the fast generation of high quality content, and intuitive control handles, enabling users to easily convey their intent and to progressively refine their result. These models will be used within different interactive environments dedicated to specific applications. More precisely, we will apply our work to three main domains: shape modeling, motion synthesis and narrative design. In addition to addressing specific needs of digital artists, this research should in the long term, enable professionals and scientists to represent and interact with models of their objects of study, and educators to quickly express and convey their ideas. We would also like to advance towards the development of a new expressive media, enabling the general public to directly create 3D shapes, motions and stories.

Research themes

1. Shape design: We aim to create intuitive tools for designing and editing 3D shapes, from arbitrary ones to shapes that obey application-dependent constraints - such as, for instance, being developable for surfaces aimed at representing objects made of cloth or of paper. 2. Motion synthesis: Our goal is to ease the interactive generation and control of 3D motion and deformations, in particular by enabling intuitive, coarse to fine design of animation. The applications will range from the simulation of passive objects to the control of virtual creatures. 3. Narrative design: Lastly, some of our tools will be aimed at helping users to design, refine and convey stories. This will include both virtual direction tools - such as interacitve storyboarding frameworks, and high-level models for virtual cinematography, such as rule-based cameras able to automatically follow the ongoing action.

International and industrial relations

Our international scientific partners include UBC, University of Toronto, University of Wisconsin, UC Berkeley, McGill, IISC Bangalore (Indian Institute of Science), IIIT Hyderabad (International Institute of Information Technology), Univ. Belfast (Queen's University), U. Victoria, University of Geneva, and ETHZ. Our main industrial partners are TeamTO, Mercenaries engineering, IFPEN, Total, Siléane, PSA, Airbus, EDF and CEA.

Keywords: Computer Graphics: Modeling Animation Interaction