Giving emotions to virtual characters

July 31, 2014

Researchers at the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) were able to simulate human facial expressions in virtual characters and use them in order to create better environments within a virtual communication.

So far, the so-called virtual agents also mimic through programmed commands or scripts, but this results in a very "robotic" reaction, which is not interesting for the user, said Marco Antonio Ramos Corchado, engineer at the Department of Computational Science at UAEM.

The main objective of the research is to generate expressions and emotions based on real people, taking as reference the 43 muscles involved in facial behavior depending on the psychological environment.

To achieve this in human models, tactile sensors were placed that release tiny electrical pulses to provoke different gestures with which a 3D camera captures the personality traits.

With the data collected, multiple virtual characters were included in project called "serious game" which, unlike video games consoles or computers, does not seek to entertain, but to run different educational, scientific or civil strategies, detailed the UAEM engineer.

Human behavior is strongly influenced by emotions, intentions, attitudes and moods that vary depending on the social context. Once these factors are captured by the 3D camera, they are translated into numerical data and then entered into the kinesic model designed by the UAEM, to sort and generate the animation of the expressions and gestures of the virtual characters in situations of happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger and disgust.

In order to achieve better results, the UAEM teamed with CINVESTAV GDL and the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) where students served as models to obtain the physical and psychological characteristics, which the application requires for a psychological profile and temperament. From the numerical measurement of emotions and sensations different facial expressions are generated.

The aim of the project is to foster attitudes of self-improvement, use dynamics of context to enhance the learning process, promote collaborative environments and communication to solve problems and riddles.

In this case, the "serious game" created by the UAEM, Cinvestav Unit Guadalajara and the University of Guadalajara, is intended to predict the behavior of people in different risk situations such as natural disasters. For this project an earthquake will be simulated in Guadalajara, Mexico explained Ramos Corchado.

Explore further: Eyes are windows to the soul—and evolution

Related Stories

Eyes are windows to the soul—and evolution

March 20, 2014
Why do we become saucer-eyed from fear and squint from disgust?

Written all over your face: Humans express four basic emotions rather than six

February 3, 2014
Human beings are emotional creatures whose state of mind can usually be observed through their facial expressions.

Anti-smoking TV ads should use anger, study suggests

April 29, 2014
Anti-smoking television advertisements that appeal to viewers' emotions are more persuasive when they use anger rather than sadness, a Dartmouth-Cornell study suggests.

Recommended for you

To pick a great gift, it's better to give AND receive

July 28, 2017
If it's the thought that makes a gift count, here's a thought that can make your gift count extra: Get a little something for yourself.

Researchers crack the smile, describing three types by muscle movement

July 27, 2017
The smile may be the most common and flexible expression, used to reveal some emotions, cover others and manage social interactions that have kept communities secure and organized for millennia.

Even babies can tell who's the boss, UW research says

July 27, 2017
The charismatic colleague, the natural leader, the life of the party - all are personal qualities that adults recognize instinctively. These socially dominant types, according to repeated studies, also tend to accomplish ...

Ketamine for depression encouraging, but questions remain around long-term use

July 27, 2017
A world-first systematic review into the safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression, published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry, shows the risks of long-term ketamine treatment remain unclear.

DREAMers at greater risk for mental health distress

July 27, 2017
Immigrants who came to the United States illegally as small children and who meet the requirements of the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as DREAMers, are at risk for mental health ...

Negativity, be gone—new online tool can retrain your brain

July 27, 2017
Anxiety and depression can have devastating effects on people's lives. In some cases, the mental disorders lead to isolation, poverty and poor physical health, things that often cascade to future generations.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Sinister1812
not rated yet Jul 31, 2014
That's some creepy shit..

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.