Automatic cage construction for retargeted muscle fitting


The animation of realistic characters necessitates the construction of complicated anatomical structures such as muscles, which allow subtle shape variation of the character’s outer surface to be displayed believably. Unfortunately, despite numerous efforts, the modelling of muscle structures is still left for an animator who has to painstakingly build up piece by piece, making it a very tedious process. What is even more frustrating is the animator has to build the same muscle structure for every new character. We propose a muscle retargeting technique to help an animator to automatically construct a muscle structure by reusing an already built and tested model (the template model). Our method defines a spatial transfer between the template model and a new model based on the skin surface and the rigging structure. To ensure that the retargeted muscle is tightly packed inside a new character, we define a novel spatial optimization based on spherical parameterization. Our method requires no manual input, meaning that an animator does not require anatomical knowledge to create realistic accurate musculature models.

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The template model is from the Ultimate Human ( Other mesh data used in this paper were made available by ‘MakeHuman’ (

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Correspondence to Xiaosong Yang.

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Yang, X., Chang, J., Southern, R. et al. Automatic cage construction for retargeted muscle fitting. Vis Comput 29, 369–380 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00371-012-0739-3

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  • Muscle modelling
  • Character animation