Constraints have been traditionally used for computer animation applications to define side conditions for generating synthesized motion according to a standard, usually physically realistic, set of motion equations. The case of facial animation is very different, as no set of motion equations for facial expressions is available. In this paper we discuss a facial animation editor, which uses numerical constraints for two roles: to declare the mimic repertoire of synthetic faces and other requirements a facial animation has to meet, and to aid the animator in the process of composing a specific animation fulfilling the requirements. The editor is thus also a `motion sculpturing` tool, which lifts the task of creating facial animation from the control data manipulation level to the conceptual design level. The major aid of the editor is to repair inconsistencies due to changes made by the user, and revise changes for which no good repair is possible. Also, reuse of constrained animations, especially expressions, is supported. The main machinery behind these services is interval propagation, which, if using certain type of linear inequalities to express the character- as well as the animation-specific requirements, can produce quickly the interval of feasible values for each control variable. If a solution (usually, repair) has to be produced, it is generated by selecting the best one from a restricted set of acceptable solutions, based on user-defined or automatically generated criteria for the choices.

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CWI
Information Systems [INS]

Ruttkay, Z.M. (1999). Constraint-based facial animation. Information Systems [INS]. CWI.