Marionette: A Performance Animation System

Andy Wilson


The Marionette is a simple performance animation system that allows the user to explore a variety of ways to map the output of motion capture devices (such as the Polhemus FastTrak or InsideTrak) to the pose of a graphical character.

My goal with the Marionette is to explore these issues:

  • How should the mapping from the sensor data to the character be specified? This gets interesting when the mapping is nonliteral, as in for example, when you want to animate a Luxo lamp, or in the case of the Marionette, the sensors have fewer degrees of freedom than the character.
  • How can very simple pattern recognition techniques be used to overcome the problem (opportunity?) of having very few input degrees of freedom?
  • What kind of funky, nonliteral maps can you design with such a system? Is it possible to get interesting cartoony effects, for example, with a small set of maps that the user trains up quickly?
More later.

Andy Wilson,