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I believe that characters create empathy, inspire and unite people. We are naturally drawn to characters and we look for them everywhere. From books up to procedurally generated simulations, I’m curious to find what makes them tick. Here are some of the questions that I’ll be exploring in Character Essences.
- What are the behaviour patterns that unite all humans/creatures?
- What behaviours can be considered unique to a character?
- Can maths be used to create emotions, funny movements, personalities?
- What is the simplest way to create a believable character?
Le Quack Walker V1.0
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This project started as a question: What is it that makes ducks funny? Moreover, I wanted to know if there was a code behind the movement of a funny duck. Rather than attempting to understand everything at once, I chose a simple behaviour, walking, and investigated its “funny” potential. Since emotions are also seen among laughing people, they were chosen as nuances for the walking behaviour.
Procedural animation was used on a duck rig prototype to create a palette of stylized walk cycles. People were then asked to name the emotions they thought each duck walk expressed and also if they found them funny. This work is part of the Character Essences project, which focuses on recreating believable actions using procedural animation.