Computer Graphics Laboratory ETH Zurich




The technical limitations of the animation pipeline have had a strong influence on the style of animation that can be achieved in a professional production environment. Our research strives to bypass these technical barriers with new algorithms that expand the designer's creative toolbox in terms of depiction, movement, deformation, stylization, control and efficiency. We not only allow artists to create new types of content but also provide new ways of interaction that make some tasks more effective, accessible and time-saving.


Character Animation

Character animation is a vital component of contemporary computer games and film productions. For animated movies in particular, a character's movements are critical to conveying personality and style. During the rigging stage, the range of meaningful deformations for a character is carefully designed by artists in terms of a low-dimensional set of intuitive control parameters. The character's movement is determined during the animation phase, when animators set values for the control parameters over time in order to bring the character to life and make it act. Believable and compelling animation, however, requires careful consideration of the complex physical forces involved in movement in order to give weight and substance to an otherwise empty and weightless shape. We provide methods to design physically-plausible chracter movements, deformations and secondary-motions.

Interactive tools

Today, the prevailing interaction metaphor for animation and modeling interfaces is click-and-drag of individual controls. Unfortunately, this interaction metaphor does not accommodate some artistic principles and can be very counterintuitive to use. Our research seeks to provide artists with new ways of interaction that fit more precisely their need, as well as permit novice users to create satisfying content. In particular, we like to investigate sketch-based interfaces as a more natural way of editing 3D content, since it brings the user closer to traditional 2D sketching.


The content creation pipeline in 3D computer graphics has been well established for over 20 years. In particular, the workflow to texture and render animated characters has barely evolved. Our research on animation stylization aims at designing interactive and intuitive tools for artists to depart from the classic pipeline and expand the range of possible visual styles for 3D characters.

Hand-drawn Animation

We investigate a set of novel digital tools for 2D Animation addressing the shortcomings of current digital support, representations and algorithms. In contrast to previous work, where automation has often been the goal, we focus on building tools that keep the artist as a central agent. We target automation of the most tedious tasks where the need for artistic interpretation is minimal, and otherwise aim for computer-assisted solutions geared to provide a similar experience as with traditional workflows augmented with algorithmic computation. With this goal in mind, we address the problems of digital representation of drawings, vectorization, segmentation, inbetweening and temporal noise control.