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Method And System For Animating An Avatar’s Facial Expressions

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202901D
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 19K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A method and system for animating an avatar’s facial expressions is disclosed. The avatar’s facial expressions are animated based on a corresponding user’s facial expressions which are detected through a video camera. Moreover, the method and system enables the user to filter one or more unwanted facial expressions from appearing on the avatar.

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Method And System For Animating An Avatar's Facial Expressions

Disclosed is a method and system for animating an avatar's facial expressions. The avatar's facial expressions may be animated in accordance with the facial expressions of a user who is represented by the avatar in a virtual world. In order to animate the avatar's facial expressions, the user's facial expressions are monitored through one or more sensing mechanisms such as, but not limited to, video imaging. For instance, the user's face may be captured using a video camera and a face recognition software may be used to determine one or more facial features corresponding to the facial expression of the user. Accordingly, based on the determined one or more facial features, the avatar's facial expressions may be animated. Further, the user may specify one or more unwanted facial expressions to be filtered from appearing on the avatar. For example, the user may not wish the avatar to reflect the user's expressions of anger, boredom, sadness etc. and hence may choose such unwanted expressions to be filtered. Accordingly, when the method and system detects such unwanted expressions on the user's face, they are not animated on the avatar's face. Instead, a predetermined default facial expression, such as a neutral expression, may be animated on the avatar's face.

In an embodiment, the method and system disclosed herein may be used to enhance the communication between users participating in a video conference. Each user participating in the video conference may be associated with an avatar that represents the respective user in the video conference. Thus, each user may be able to view avatars corresponding to all other users participating in the video conference. In addition, each user may also be able to view their own avatar. Further, an avatar corresponding to a user may be controllable by the user. Particularly, the behavior of the avatar such as, but not limited to, posture and movements may be controllable by the user. Moreover, the avatar's facial expressions may be automatically animated in response to a facial expression detected on the user's face.

In order to automatically animate an avatar's facial expression, a unique association between the avatar and the corresponding user at an endpoint of the video conference is established for each user participating in the video conference. Each user may configure a corresponding avatar with a set of properties. Accordingly, each avatar may be represented by a unique identifier, which may...