Improvisational Animation

Ken Perlin, Athomas Goldberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We are developing software tools for authoring real-time applications involving virtual actors. The actors have mood, presence and personality. They follow a script, using body language and gesture to convey an interactive story that has been scripted beforehand by an author. Scripts can contain random elements, so the same story is never told twice. As the story unfolds, end-users participate and become part of the story by controlling an actor, by interacting with actors, or by giving instructions to the story telling system. For example, as two actors are embroiled in an argument, a user might instruct his actor to leave the room, or to end the argument by conceding. The virtual actors adapt as changes in the story occur, using guidelines from their scripts to decide how to respond and behave. In this video, we present the history of our research in Improvisational Animation and discuss some of the principles involved in creating animated virtual actors who perform autonomously in real time and how this can be applied to the creation of compelling interactive experiences which allow for endless possibilities, yet always conform to the framework established by author and animator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 1996 - Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems
EditorsMichael J. Tauber
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9780897918329
StatePublished - Apr 18 1996
Event1996 Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 1996 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Apr 13 1996Apr 18 1996

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference1996 Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 1996


  • Agents
  • Entertainment
  • Networks
  • Programming Environments
  • Virtual Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • General Computer Science
  • General Social Sciences


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