“Improv” is a system for creating interactive improvisational computer animation and music. The Improv system is an integrated visual and audio environment with characters that are intelligent, autonomous and directable. Characters in Improv are represented visually as “Virtual actors” or audibly as “virtual musicians.” Virtual actors are autonomous, directable animated characters. Virtual actors are given personality traits by an animator or director and choose their actions according to these personality traits. They are influenced by and respond to the state and actions of other characters and objects in their environment. Virtual musicians are essentially “audio actors” and represent the players in a band. They choose and alter their playing style according to personality traits and environmental cues, analogous to the way virtual actors choose their movements. Improv is an interactive system. Actors and musicians respond in real-time to human input from a director using the mouse or keyboard; live musicians playing MIDI electronic musical instruments and controllers; and human participants through a variety of sensor devices. Improv characters also interact in real-time with the other Virtual characters in the environment. We describe the Improv system components, design philosophy and implementation, as well as demonstrations, scenarios and installations we have created with the system.
- Ken Perlin, Eric Singer, Athomas Goldberg, Clilly Castiglia & Sabria Liao, USA, Media Research Laboratory, New York University.
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