Celso de Melo, Jonathan Gratch: “The Effect of Color on Expression of Joy and Sadness in Virtual Humans”

September 12, 2009 | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Speaker: Celso de Melo, Jonathan Gratch
Host: 2009 3rd International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2009)

For centuries artists have been exploring color to express emotions. Following this insight, the paper describes an approach to learn how to use color to influence the perception of emotions in virtual humans. First, a model of lighting and filters inspired on the visual arts is integrated with a virtual human platform to manipulate color. Next, an evolutionary model, based on genetic algorithms, is created to evolve mappings between emotions and lighting and filter parameters. A first study is, then, conducted where subjects evolve mappings for joy and sadness without being aware of the evolutionary model. In a second study, the features which characterize the mappings are analyzed. Results show that virtual human images of joy tend to be brighter, more saturated and have more colors than images of sadness. The paper discusses the relevance of the results for the fields of expression of emotions and virtual humans.