Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type





Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Fuhua (Frank) Cheng


Facial expression and animation are important aspects of the 3D environment featuring human characters. These animations are frequently used in many kinds of applications and there have been many efforts to increase the realism. Three aspects are still stimulating active research: the detailed subtle facial expressions, the process of rigging a face, and the transfer of an expression from one person to another. This dissertation focuses on the above three aspects.

A system for freely designing and creating detailed, dynamic, and animated facial expressions is developed. The presented pattern functions produce detailed and animated facial expressions. The system produces realistic results with fast performance, and allows users to directly manipulate it and see immediate results.

Two unique methods for generating real-time, vivid, and animated tears have been developed and implemented. One method is for generating a teardrop that continually changes its shape as the tear drips down the face. The other is for generating a shedding tear, which is a kind of tear that seamlessly connects with the skin as it flows along the surface of the face, but remains an individual object. The methods both broaden CG and increase the realism of facial expressions.

A new method to automatically set the bones on facial/head models to speed up the rigging process of a human face is also developed. To accomplish this, vertices that describe the face/head as well as relationships between each part of the face/head are grouped. The average distance between pairs of vertices is used to place the head bones. To set the bones in the face with multi-density, the mean value of the vertices in a group is measured. The time saved with this method is significant.

A novel method to produce realistic expressions and animations by transferring an existing expression to a new facial model is developed. The approach is to transform the source model into the target model, which then has the same topology as the source model. The displacement vectors are calculated. Each vertex in the source model is mapped to the target model. The spatial relationships of each mapped vertex are constrained.



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