Computer Animation - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780124158429, 9780124159730

Computer Animation

3rd Edition

Algorithms and Techniques

Authors: Rick Parent
eBook ISBN: 9780124159730
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124158429
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 29th August 2012
Page Count: 542
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Driven by demand from the entertainment industry for better and more realistic animation, technology continues to evolve and improve. The algorithms and techniques behind this technology are the foundation of this comprehensive book, which is written to teach you the fundamentals of animation programming.

In this third edition, the most current techniques are covered along with the theory and high-level computation that have earned the book a reputation as the best technically-oriented animation resource. Key topics such as fluids, hair, and crowd animation have been expanded, and extensive new coverage of clothes and cloth has been added. New material on simulation provides a more diverse look at this important area and more example animations and chapter projects and exercises are included. Additionally, spline coverage has been expanded and new video compression and formats (e.g., iTunes) are covered.

Key Features

  • Includes companion site with contemporary animation examples drawn from research and entertainment, sample animations, and example code
  • Describes the key mathematical and algorithmic foundations of animation that provide you with a deep understanding and control of technique
  • Expanded and new coverage of key topics including: fluids and clouds, cloth and clothes, hair, and crowd animation
  • Explains the algorithms used for path following, hierarchical kinematic modelling, rigid body dynamics, flocking behaviour, particle systems, collision detection, and more


Students studying computer animation in courses with an emphasis on understanding algorithms and programming. Technical directors, animators, artists, and game developers looking to understand the foundations of animation to improve studio work

Table of Contents




Organization of the Book


About the Author

Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1 Motion perception

1.2 The heritage of animation

1.3 Animation production

1.4 Computer animation production

1.5 A brief history of computer animation

1.6 Summary


Chapter 2. Technical Background

2.1 Spaces and transformations

2.2 Orientation representation

2.3 Summary


Chapter 3. Interpolating Values

3.1 Interpolation

3.2 Controlling the motion of a point along a curve

3.3 Interpolation of orientations

3.4 Working with paths

3.5 Chapter summary


Chapter 4. Interpolation-Based Animation

4.1 Key-frame systems

4.2 Animation languages

4.3 Deforming objects

4.4 Three-dimensional shape interpolation

4.5 Morphing (two-dimensional)

4.6 Chapter summary


Chapter 5. Kinematic Linkages

5.1 Hierarchical modeling

5.2 Forward kinematics

5.3 Inverse kinematics

5.4 Chapter summary


Chapter 6. Motion Capture

6.1 Motion capture technologies

6.2 Processing the images

6.3 Camera calibration

6.4 Three-dimensional position reconstruction

6.5 Fitting to the skeleton

6.6 Output from motion capture systems

6.7 Manipulating motion capture data

6.8 Chapter summary


Chapter 7. Physically Based Animation

7.1 Basic physics—a review

7.2 Spring animation examples

7.3 Particle systems

7.4 Rigid body simulation

7.5 Cloth

7.6 Enforcing soft and hard constraints

7.7 Chapter summary


Chapter 8. Fluids: Liquids and Gases

8.1 Specific fluid models

8.2 Computational fluid dynamics

8.3 Chapter summary


Chapter 9. Modeling and Animating Human Figures

9.1 Overview of virtual human representation

9.2 Reaching and grasping

9.3 Walking

9.4 Coverings

9.5 Chapter summary


Chapter 10. Facial Animation

10.1 The human face

10.2 Facial models

10.3 Animating the face

10.4 Lip-sync animation

10.5 Chapter summary


Chapter 11. Behavioral Animation

11.1 Primitive behaviors

11.2 Knowledge of the environment

11.3 Modeling intelligent behavior

11.4 Crowds

11.6 Chapter summary


Chapter 12. Special Models for Animation

12.1 Implicit surfaces

12.2 Plants

12.3 Subdivision surfaces

12.4 Chapter summary


APPENDIX A: Rendering Issues

APPENDIX B: Background Information and Techniques

B.1 Vectors and matrices

B.2 Geometric computations

B.3 Transformations

B.4 Denevit and Hartenberg representation for linked appendages

B.5 Interpolating and approximating curves

B.6 Randomness

B.7 Physics primer

B.8 Numerical integration techniques

B.9 Optimization

B.10 Standards for moving pictures

B.11 Camera calibration



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© Morgan Kaufmann 2012
Morgan Kaufmann
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About the Author

Rick Parent

Rick Parent is an Associate Professor at Ohio State University, where he teaches computer graphics and computer animation. His research in computer animation focuses on its relation to modeling and animating the human figure, with special emphasis on geometric modeling and implicit surfaces. Rick earned a Ph.D. in computer science from Ohio State University and a Bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Dayton. In 1977, he was awarded "Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award" (one of four given nationally) by the NCC. He has served on numerous SIGGRAPH committees, in addition to the Computer Graphics International 2000 Program Committee and the Computer Animation '99 Program Committee and is on the editorial board of the Visual Computer Journal.

Affiliations and Expertise

is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Ohio State University, where he teaches computer graphics and computer animation. He has taught Computer Animation for over 25 years and has worked in the field for over 35. His research interests include the modeling and animating of the human figure.


"This text is for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students in computer science; it will also be of interest to graphics programmers and digital animators. Coverage is intentionally limited to practical aspects of computer algorithms and programming techniques for specifying and generating motion for graphical objects in 3D computer animation, with no discussion of theory, aesthetics, or production." --Reference and Research Book News, February 2013