Harmonic Coordinates for Character Articulation

Pushkar Joshi, Mark Meyer, Tony DeRose, Brian Green, Tom Sanocki


In this paper we consider the problem of creating and controlling volume deformations used to articulate characters for use in high-end applications such as computer generated feature films. We introduce a method we call harmonic coordinates that significantly improves upon existing volume deformation techniques. Our deformations are controlled using a topologically flexible structure, called a cage, that consists of a closed three dimensional mesh. The cage can optionally be augmented with additional interior vertices, edges, and faces to more precisely control the interior behavior of the deformation. We show that harmonic coordinates are generalized barycentric coordinates that can be extended to any dimension. Moreover, they are the first system of generalized barycentric coordinates that are non-negative even in strongly concave situations, and their magnitude falls off with distance as measured within the cage.

Paper (PDF)

Additional materials: [HarmonicCoordinates.divx], [SiggraphSlides.pdf]

Available in the proceedings of Siggraph 2007.

Available as Pixar Technical Memo #06-02b

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