Performance of Physics-Driven Procedural Animation of Character Locomotion: For Bipedal and Quadrupedal Gait

by Jarl Larsson

Institution: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: datavetenskap; computer science - general; spelutveckling; digital game development; procedural animation; interactive games; multithreading; software performance
Record ID: 1370831
Full text PDF: http://www.bth.se/fou/cuppsats.nsf/6753b78eb2944e0ac1256608004f0535/039900d772b491f7c1257e0a0035fc31?OpenDocument


Context. Animation of character locomotion is an important part of computer animation and games. It is a vital aspect in achieving believable behaviour and articulation for virtual characters. For games there is also often a need for supporting real-time reactive behaviour in an animation as a response to direct or indirect user interaction, which have given rise to procedural solutions to generate animation of locomotion. Objectives. In this thesis the performance aspects for procedurally generating animation of locomotion within real-time constraints is evaluated, for bipeds and quadrupeds, and for simulations of several characters. A general pose-driven feedback algorithm for physics-driven character locomotion is implemented for this purpose. Methods. The execution time of the locomotion algorithm is evaluated using an automated experiment process, in which real-time gait simulations of incrementing character population count are instantiated and measured, for the bipedal and quadrupedal gaits. The simulations are measured for both serial and parallel executions of the locomotion algorithm. Results. Simulations of up to and including 100 characters are performance measured providing an overview of the slowdown rate when increasing the character count in the simulations, as well as the performance relations between bipeds and quadrupeds. Conclusions. The experiment concludes that the evaluated algorithm on its own exhibits a relatively small performance impact that scales almost linearly for the evaluated population sizes. Due to the relatively low performance impacts it is thus also concluded that for future experiments a broader measurement of the locomotion algorithm that includes and compares different physics solvers is of interest.