EigenSkin:  Real Time Large Deformation Character Skinning in Hardware

Paul G. Kry, Doug L. James, and Dinesh K. Pai



We present a technique which allows subtle nonlinear quasi-static deformations of articulated characters to be compactly approximated by data-dependent eigenbases which are optimized for real time rendering on commodity graphics hardware.  The method extends the common Skeletal-Subspace Deformation (SSD) technique to provide efficient approximations of the complex deformation behaviours exhibited in simulated, measured, and artist-drawn characters.  Instead of storing displacements for key poses (which may be numerous), we precompute principal components of the deformation influences for individual kinematic joints, and so construct error-optimal eigenbases describing each joint's deformation subspace.  Pose-dependent deformations are then expressed in terms of these reduced eigenbases, allowing precomputed coefficients of the eigenbasis to be interpolated at run time.  Vertex program hardware can then efficiently render nonlinear skin deformations using a small number of eigendisplacements stored in graphics hardware.  We refer to the final resulting character skinning construct as the model's  EigenSkin.  Animation results are presented for a very large nonlinear finite element model of a human hand rendered in real time at minimal cost to the main CPU.


Last updated July 2002