Computer Graphics

University of California - Berkeley

Pushing People Around


We present an algorithm for animating characters being pushed by an external source such as a user or a game environment. We start with a collection of motions of a real person responding to being pushed. When a character is pushed, we synthesize new motions by picking a motion from the recorded collection and modifying it so that the character responds to the push from the desired direction and location on its body. Determining the deformation parameters that realistically modify a recorded response motion is difficult. Choosing the response motion that will look best when modified is also non-trivial, especially in real-time. To estimate the envelope of deformation parameters that yield visually plausible modifications of a given motion, and to find the best motion to modify, we introduce an oracle. The oracle is trained using a set of synthesized response motions that are identified by a user as good and bad. Once trained, the oracle can, in real-time, estimate the visual quality of all motions in the collection and required deformation parameters to serve a desired push. Our method performs better than a baseline algorithm of picking the closest response motion in configuration space, because our method can find visually plausible transitions that do not necessarily correspond to similar motions in terms of configuration. Our method can also start with a limited set of recorded motions and modify them so that they can be used to serve different pushes on the upper body.


Okan Arikan, David A. Forsyth, and James F. O'Brien. "Pushing People Around". In ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation 2005, pages 56–66, July 2005.

Supplemental Material


Demonstration video to accompany the paper