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Spring 2012 GRASP/HMS Seminar: Aaron Hertzmann, University of Toronto, “Feature-Based Locomotion Controllers for Physically-Simulated Characters”

February 3, 2012 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Abstract: Understanding the control forces that drive humans and animals is
fundamental to describing their movement. Although physics-based
methods hold promise for creating animation, they have long been
considered too difficult to design and control. Likewise, recent
results in computer vision suggest how physical models, if developed,
could be important to human pose tracking.

I will describe the main problems of human motion modeling. I will then
present a new approach to control of physics-based characters based on
high-level features of human movement. These controllers provide
unprecedented flexibility and generality in real-time character
control: they are capture many natural properties of human movement;
they can be easily modified and applied to new characters; and they can
handle a variety of different terrains and tasks, all within a single
control strategy.

Until very recently, even making a controller walk without falling down
was extraordinarily difficult. This is no longer the case. Our work,
together with other recent results in this area, suggests that we are
now ready to make great strides in locomotion.


- Learn More

Aaron Hertzmann is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at
University of Toronto. He received a BA in Computer Science and Art
& Art History from Rice University in 1996, and an MS and PhD in
Computer Science from New York University in 1998 and 2001,
respectively. In the past, he has worked at Pixar Animation Studios,
University of Washington, Microsoft Research, Mitsubishi Electric
Research Lab, Interval Research Corporation and NEC Research Institute.
His awards include the MIT TR100 (2004), an Ontario Early Researcher
Award (2005), a Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2006), a Microsoft New
Faculty Fellowship (2006), a UofT CS teaching award (2008), the
CACS/AIC Outstanding Young CS Researcher Award (2010), and the Steacie
Prize for Natural Sciences (2010).


February 3, 2012
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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