I am working in the character animation research group in IDAV (Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization) under my advisor, Michael Neff. The research group’s members have been involved in a variety of projects involving: motion capture, key framing in 3D animation, and combining techniques from artificial intelligence with 3D graphics and animation to produce intelligent virtual agents, as described below.

“Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) are interactive characters that exhibit human-like qualities and communicate with humans or with each other using natural human modalities such as behavior, gesture and speech. IVAs are capable of real-time perception, cognition and action that allow them to participate in a dynamic social environment.”
-Taken from the web page for IVA 2010

Our research explores the synthesis of expressive behavior, namely in the form of hand gestures, in order to generate a virtual agent that exhibits specific personality traits. A prior experiment by my advisor and his research group has shown how variations in the language selected (using PERSONAGE, a personality-driven dialogue generator), the rate of gestures performed, and the physical configuration of gestures can correlate with the level of extraversion perceived by human judges (link to paper). We hope to replicate these results using other personality traits to broaden the expressive behavior a virtual agent is capable of exhibiting.