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Inter-Acting: Understanding interaction with performance-driven puppets using low-cost optical motion capture device

Leite, L. ; Orvalho, V.

Intrnl. Journal of Advanced Computer Science Vol. 3, Nº 2, pp. 0 - 0, February, 2013.

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ISSN (online): 2251-6379

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Puppets can be great storytellers when performed in a dramatic way. They create the illusion of life, making the audience believe in the story. But animating puppets using traditional key frame animation is not a trivial task taking too much time and practice, in particular for the non-expert artists. Digital puppetry presents performance-driven animation, making the puppet reactive to the motion of the performer in real-time. Motion capture methods makes the puppet animation fast and simple, based on the acting of the performer, but they are out of reach for the major consumers. We present a low-cost performance-driven technique that allows real-time puppet animation based on the inter-acting, which can be used in live storytelling. In this paper we study how users can interpret simple actions like walking, using their bodies as puppet controllers. The system was deployed using the Microsoft Kinect and by assuming the marionette aesthetics and constraints, showing how low-cost devices can provide a new mean for motion capture representation. We extend the previous study by presenting another method to interact with puppets using indirect mapping by connecting the puppet to the puppeteer with virtual strings. Last, we performed a pilot experiment animating silhouettes and 3D puppets, to better understand differences in the interaction. An audience had to identify by the output final animation, the actions performed by non-expert artists using their bodies to drive the puppets. We conclude, inter-acting with 2D puppets is similar to the marionette manipulation and needs more interpretation than with 3D puppets.