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Fall 2014 Schedule
Winter 2015 Schedule

2012/11/02, MC103, 14:30 - 15:30

Learning to Locomote
Michiel van de Panne , University of British Columbia

Area: Computer Animation


The ability to move and act in the physical world is fundamental to humans and animals Yet our best models for simulating their motion or controlling legged robots are still a pale imitation of the agility and grace of motions seen in nature. Is the missing ingredient a matter of computation, mechanics, data, sensing, learning, or something else? I will describe our own work towards answering these questions in a series of recent projects that demonstrate a large variety of skills for physics-based simulations of humans and canines. Our solutions argue for a number of relevant abstractions and the incremental development of motion skills. We further argue that physics-based animation provides a fertile ground for modeling a growing range of motion skills. It provides new tools and approaches towards the control problems that it shares with biomechanics and robotics, and is replete with challenges for planning and learning algorithms. The future is agile and dexterous.

Biography of Speaker:

Michiel van de Panne's research interests are in physics-based animation and simulation of characters, computer graphics, motion planning and control, robotics, sketch-based modeling, and applications of machine learning to computer graphics and animation. He recently completed a ten year term term as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Computer Graphics and Animation. In 2002 he co-founded the ACM/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA), the leading forum dedicated to computer animation research. He served as an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Graphics during 2005-2008. He has co-chaired EG CAS 1997, SCA 2002, GI 2005, SBIM 2007, and SCA 2011. He serves on the program committees of ACM SIGGRAPH, Eurographics, ACM/EG SCA, ACM I3D, Graphics Interface, and NPAR. The work he did with his M.Sc. student Ivan Neulander helped form the basis of the Rhythm & Hues hair rendering pipeline for The Chronicles of Narnia and other films.