Ari Shapiro and Andrew W. Feng: “The Case for Physics Visualization in an Animator’s Toolset”

Abstract: By associating physical properties with a digital character’s joint and bones, we are able to visualize explicitly a number of properties that can help animators develop high-quality animation. For example, proper ballistic arcs can be shown to demonstrate proper timing and location of a character during flight. In addition, a center of mass that accurately reflects the posture of the character can be shown to help with a balanced appearance during walking or running. In addition, motion properties not previously considered, such as angular momentum, can be easily identified when blatantly violated by an animator. However, very few in-house or commercial systems employ such tools, despite their nearly transparent use in an animator’s workflow and their utility in generating better-quality motion. In this paper, we argue the case for incorporating such toolset, describe an algorithm for implementing the tools, and detail that types of uses for such a tool.

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