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Motion Cues for Illustration of Skeletal Motion Capture Data

Simon Bouvier-Zappa, Victor Ostromoukhov and Pierre Poulin
Proc. Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering 2007, August 2007


There are many applications for which it is necessary to illustrate motion in a static image using visual cues which do not represent a physical entity in the scene, yet are widely understood to convey motion. For example, consider the task of illustrating the desired movements for exercising, dancing, or a given sport technique. Traditional artists have developed techniques to specify desired movements precisely (technical illustrators) and suggest motion (cartoonists) in an image.

In this paper, we present an interactive system to synthesize a 2D image of an animated character by generating artist-inspired motion cues derived from 3D skeletal motion capture data. The primary cues include directed arrows, noise waves, and stroboscopic motion. First, the user decomposes the animation into short sequences containing individual motions which can be represented by visual cues. The system then allows the user to determine a suitable viewpoint for illustrating the movement, to select the proper level in the joint hierarchy, as well as to fine-tune various controls for the depiction of the cues themselves. While the system does provide adapted default values for each control, extracted from the motion capture data, it allows fine-tuning for greater expressiveness. Moreover, these cues are drawn in real time, and maintain a coherent display with changing viewpoints.

We demonstrate the benefit of our interactive system on various motion capture sequences.


Non-photorealistic, motion capture, articulated figure, cartoon, technical drawing, animation, visual cues.

BibTeX entry

  title     = "Motion Cues for Illustration of Skeletal Motion Capture Data",
  author    = "Simon Bouvier-Zappa and Victor Ostromoukhov and Pierre Poulin",
  booktitle = "Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering 2007",
  year      = "2007",
  month     = aug,
  pages     = "-"

Online version

Adobe PDF version of the paper;
Accompanying AVI video (22 MB);
Presentation slides in PDF;
SIGGRAPH reprise session slides in PDF.