Efficient Generation of Dancing Animation Synchronizing with Music Based on Meta Motion Graphs

Jianfeng XU  Koichi TAKAGI  Shigeyuki SAKAZAWA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E95-D   No.6   pp.1646-1655
Publication Date: 2012/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E95.D.1646
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Computer Graphics
Keyword: 
motion graph,  music synchronization,  motion synthesis,  optimization,  mobile applications,  

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Summary: 
This paper presents a system for automatic generation of dancing animation that is synchronized with a piece of music by re-using motion capture data. Basically, the dancing motion is synthesized according to the rhythm and intensity features of music. For this purpose, we propose a novel meta motion graph structure to embed the necessary features including both rhythm and intensity, which is constructed on the motion capture database beforehand. In this paper, we consider two scenarios for non-streaming music and streaming music, where global search and local search are required respectively. In the case of the former, once a piece of music is input, the efficient dynamic programming algorithm can be employed to globally search a best path in the meta motion graph, where an objective function is properly designed by measuring the quality of beat synchronization, intensity matching, and motion smoothness. In the case of the latter, the input music is stored in a buffer in a streaming mode, then an efficient search method is presented for a certain amount of music data (called a segment) in the buffer with the same objective function, resulting in a segment-based search approach. For streaming applications, we define an additional property in the above meta motion graph to deal with the unpredictable future music, which guarantees that there is some motion to match the unknown remaining music. A user study with totally 60 subjects demonstrates that our system outperforms the stat-of-the-art techniques in both scenarios. Furthermore, our system improves the synthesis speed greatly (maximal speedup is more than 500 times), which is essential for mobile applications. We have implemented our system on commercially available smart phones and confirmed that it works well on these mobile phones.