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Issue No. 02 - Feb. (2014 vol. 20)
ISSN: 1077-2626
pp: 211-222
Joseph Henry , Sch. of Inf., Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
Hubert P. H. Shum , Northumbria Univ., Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Taku Komura , Sch. of Inf., Univ. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
The degrees of freedom of a crowd is much higher than that provided by a standard user input device. Typically, crowd-control systems require multiple passes to design crowd movements by specifying waypoints, and then defining character trajectories and crowd formation. Such multi-pass control would spoil the responsiveness and excitement of real-time control systems. In this paper, we propose a single-pass algorithm to control a crowd in complex environments. We observe that low-level details in crowd movement are related to interactions between characters and the environment, such as diverging/merging at cross points, or climbing over obstacles. Therefore, we simplify the problem by representing the crowd with a deformable mesh, and allow the user, via multitouch input, to specify high-level movements and formations that are important for context delivery. To help prevent congestion, our system dynamically reassigns characters in the formation by employing a mass transport solver to minimize their overall movement. The solver uses a cost function to evaluate the impact from the environment, including obstacles and areas affecting movement speed. Experimental results show realistic crowd movement created with minimal high-level user inputs. Our algorithm is particularly useful for real-time applications including strategy games and interactive animation creation.
Trajectory, Real-time systems, Shape, Animation, Computational modeling, Visualization

J. Henry, H. P. Shum and T. Komura, "Interactive Formation Control in Complex Environments," in IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 211-222, 2014.
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