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Reading Personality Through Gesture

Presenter: Michael Neff

May 04, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM

Kerr Hall 386

Presenter: Michael Neff

Michael Neff is an associate professor in Computer Science and Cinema and Digital Media at the University of California, Davis where he directs the Motion Lab, an interdisciplinary research effort in character animation and embodied input. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and is also a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. His interests include character animation tools, especially modeling expressive movement, physics-based animation, gesture and applying performing arts knowledge to animation. He received an NSF CAREER Award, the Alain Fournier Award for his dissertation, best paper award from Intelligent Virtual Agents and Motion in Games and the Isadora Duncan Award for Visual Design.  He also currently serves as Director for the Department of Cinema and Digital Media.

Title: Reading Personality Through Gesture

Abstract: One of the challenges in building animation tools for interactive applications is being able to automatically synthesize movement that reflects a particular character. Personality provides one useful framework to represent "character". In this talk, I will review a series of experiments exploring how changes in movement, especially gesture, are read in terms of perceived character personality. We use an encoding approach in which we synthesize animated characters displaying particular variations in movement. We then use these animations as stimuli in perceptual studies where participants rate the animations on the five factor or OCEAN model of personality. Interesting results involve the varied contribution of language vs. movement, the role of self-adaptors (self-manipulations with no communicative intent), the importance of hand shape and finger movement, and that for certain classes of manipulation, user personality judgements lie largely in two dimensions of personality instead of five.


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