Computer Animation

Computer Animation

Algorithms and Techniques

3rd Edition - August 29, 2012

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  • Author: Rick Parent
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124158429
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124159730

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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

  • Dedication



    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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 542
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2012
  • Published: August 29, 2012
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780124158429
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124159730

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.

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