Virtual stunt artists take first tumbles

January 21, 2002 | Source: New Scientist

Virtual stunt artists are being developed that respond to the physics of the real world, thanks to the use of a novel array of virtual sensors.
The virtual stunt artist takes the form of a properly jointed skeleton figure that responds to forces produced by gravity, friction and impact with other objects in its virtual environment. Researchers at the University of Toronto developed a program to supervise the individual behavior controllers and make them work in concert.

Each controller has virtual sensors that keep track of variables such as the character’s center of gravity, its joint movement and any points of contact between itself and the environment. This enables them to sense when they fail, such as when the balance controller is unable to recover after the character is knocked over.

The joints are designed to work like those of an average human, based on data from a biomechanical database.