UCSC-SOE-13-01: Raising the Aesthetic Quality of Character Interaction in Cinematic Videogames

Christopher Maraffi, Arnav Jhala
03/01/2013 03:50 PM
Computer Science
In this article we review the state of the arts in virtual character control research, proposing a critical technical practice for making aesthetics a central concern. We argue that increased acting logics and affordances for playing a role in popular videogames are pushing character interaction towards the performing arts domain. To align procedural play with viewer preferences for skilled performance in media, we propose an expressive role play model based on classical acting. Our performative ontology draws from theory and practices in the arts, artificial intelligence, and psychology to provide a firm theoretical grounding for our approach. We use our model to analyze several examples of playable media, and describe initial experiments to infer the aesthetic quality of poses in motion capture data as a first step towards generating expressive character features.