Section: Overall Objectives

Scientific goals

The goal of the IMAGINE project is to develop a new generation of models, algorithms and interactive environments for the interactive creation of animated 3D content and its communication through virtual cinematography.

Our insight is to revisit models for shapes, motion, and narration from a user-centred perspective, i.e. to give models an intuitive, predictable behaviour from the user’s view-point. This will ease both semi-automatic generation of animated 3D content and fine tuning of the results. The three main fields will be addressed:

  1. Shape design: We aim to develop intuitive tools for designing and editing 3D shapes and their assemblies, from arbitrary ones to shapes that obey application-dependent constraints - such as, for instance, developable surfaces representing cloth or paper, or shape assemblies used for CAD of mechanical prototypes.

  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 animations. The applications range from the simulation of passive objects to the control of virtual creatures.

  3. Narrative design: The aim is to help users to express, refine and convey temporal narrations, from stories to educational or industrial scenarios. We develop both virtual direction tools such as interactive storyboarding frameworks, and high-level models for virtual cinematography, such as rule-based cameras able to automatically follow the ongoing action and automatic film editing techniques.

In addition to addressing specific needs of digital artists, this research contributes to the development of new expressive media for 3D content. The long term goal would be to enable any professional or scientist to model and interact with their object of study, to provide educators with ways to quickly express and convey their ideas, and to give the general public the ability to directly create animated 3D content.