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Conference Papers Year : 2020

Walk Ratio: Perception of an Invariant Parameter of Human Walk on Virtual Characters


Synthesizing motions that look realistic and diverse is a challenging task in animation. Therefore, a few generic walking motions are typically used when creating crowds of walking virtual characters, leading to a lack of variations as motions are not necessarily adapted to each and every virtual character’s characteristics. While some attempts have been made to create variations, it appears necessary to identify the relevant parameters that influence users’ perception of such variations to keep a good trade-off between computational costs and realism. In this paper, we therefore investigate the ability of viewers to identify an invariant parameter of human walking named the Walk Ratio (step length to step frequency ratio), which was shown to be specific to each individual and constant for different speeds, but which has never been used to drive animations of virtual characters. To this end, we captured 2 female and 2 male actors walking at different freely chosen speeds, as well as at different combinations of step frequency and step length. We then performed a perceptual study to identify the Walk Ratio that was perceived as the most natural for each actor when animating a virtual character, and compared it to the Walk Ratio freely chosen by the actor during the motion capture session. We found that Walk Ratios chosen by observers were in the range of Walk Ratios measured in the literature, and that participants perceived differences between the Walk Ratios of animated male and female characters, as evidenced in the biomechanical literature. Our results provide new considerations to drive the animation of walking virtual characters using the Walk Ratio as a parameter, and might provide animators with novel means to control the walking speed of characters through simple parameters while retaining the naturalness of the locomotion.
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Dates and versions

hal-03009041 , version 1 (23-11-2020)



Benjamin Niay, Anne-Hélène Olivier, Katja Zibrek, Julien Pettré, Ludovic Hoyet. Walk Ratio: Perception of an Invariant Parameter of Human Walk on Virtual Characters. SAP 2020 - ACM Symposium on Applied Perception, Sep 2020, Virtual Event, United States. pp.1-9, ⟨10.1145/3385955.3407926⟩. ⟨hal-03009041⟩
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