Natural steering behaviors for virtual pedestrians

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The animation of humanoids in real-time applications is yet a challenge if the problem involves attaining a precise location in a virtual world (path-planning), moving realistically according to its own personality, intentions and mood (motion planning). In this paper we propose a formally complete and low-cost solution based upon boundary value problems (BVP) to control steering behaviors of characters in dynamic environments. We use a potential field formalism that allows synthetic actors to move negotiating space, avoiding collisions, and attaining goals, while producing very individual paths. The individuality of each character can be set by changing its inner field parameters leading to a broad range of possible behaviors without jeopardizing its performance. To illustrate the technique potentialities, some results exploring situations as steering behavior in corridors with collision avoidance and competition for a goal, and searching for objects in unknown environments are presented and discussed. A proposal to automatically change the size of the field of view of each agent, producing different behaviors is also a contribution of this paper. Some comments about performance are also made to help the reader to evaluate the potential of the method.

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Correspondence to Renato Silveira.

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Silveira, R., Dapper, F., Prestes, E. et al. Natural steering behaviors for virtual pedestrians. Vis Comput 26, 1183–1199 (2010) doi:10.1007/s00371-009-0399-0

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  • Humanoid simulation
  • Path planning
  • Steering behavior
  • Harmonic functions
  • Boundary value problems