A. Lopez, J. Pettré, E. Marchand, F. Chaumette. Character navigation in dynamic environments based on optical flow. Computer Graphics Forum, (Eurographics 2019 Proceeding), To appear, 38(2), May 2019.
Steering and navigation are important components of character animation systems to enable them to autonomously move in their environment. In this work, we propose a synthetic vision model that uses visual features to steer agents through dynamic environments. Our agents perceive optical flow resulting from their relative motion with the objects of the environment. The optical flow is then segmented and processed to extract visual features such as the focus of expansion and time-to-collision. Then, we establish the relations between these visual features and the agent motion, and use them to design a set of control functions which allow characters to perform object-dependent tasks, such as following, avoiding and reaching. Control functions are then combined to let characters perform more complex navigation tasks in dynamic environments, such as reaching a goal while avoiding multiple obstacles. Agent’s motion is achieved by local minimization of these functions. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach through a number of scenarios. Our work sets the basis for building a character animation system which imitates human sensorimotor actions. It opens new perspectives to achieve realistic simulation of human characters taking into account perceptual factors, such as the lighting conditions of the environment.