My colleagues, Ilya Baran, Ladislav Kavan, Jovan Popović, Olga Sorkine, and I have just submitted the camera ready version of paper “Fast Automatic Skinning Transformations” to be presented at ACM SIGGRAPH 2012. I’ve put up a fast automatic skinning transformations page where you can find the preprint version of the article, videos and more to come.
Skinning transformations are a popular way to articulate shapes and characters. However, traditional animation interfaces require all of the skinning transformations to be specified explicitly, typically using a control structure (a rig). We propose a system where the user specifies only a subset of the degrees of freedom and the rest are automatically inferred using nonlinear, rigidity energies. By utilizing a low-order model and reformulating our energy functions accordingly, our algorithm runs orders of magnitude faster than previous methods without compromising quality. In addition to the immediate boosts in performance for existing modeling and real time animation tools, our approach also opens the door to new modes of control: disconnected skeletons combined with shape-aware inverse kinematics. With automatically generated skinning weights, our method can also be used for fast variational shape modeling.
Update: The full resolution version of the above teaser.
Update: The accompanying video (with narration)