hanim_mt.gif (2487 bytes)

What is Humanoid Animation? (We call it h-anim for short.) The Web3D h-anim working group was formed so developers could agree on a standard naming convention for human body parts and joints. It turns out that the human form has been studied for centuries and most of the parts already have medical (or Latin) names. They may seem awkward to use at first, but they are universal and they are the language of science.

Why is this a good thing? Since each h-anim avatar has the same joint model, they can all "share" the same animation loops or gestures from one avatar to the next. This will save avatar creators lots of time and therefore allow them to spend more time tweaking one particular gesture to get it exactly right. Here is an example of Cindy Reed-Ballreich's Nancy Animation applied to Matt Beitler's YT avatar. Click on the colored balls to trigger the animations.

Here is a .spz file of Nancy that you can add your own gestures to. Shoot, while we are at it, here is a low res .spz file of Andy by Seamless Solutions, Inc. You can use these avatars for non-commercial use.

Flux Studio was the first authoring tool that supports h-anim. It has several features which cater to this concept. It also comes packaged with a prebuilt avatar that you can use to learn more about the process. There is an H-anim Wizard that will make a model for you that you can define animations for. There are also "clipboard" tools which allow the cutting and pasting of Avatars and animations from one h-anim avatar to the next. There are also tools which allow you to create a humanoid from scratch if you know what you are doing and have lots of time and talent. There are also tools which allow you to export the avatar and or the animations seperately and easily mix and match them through a third file (a container file). The following images may give you a clue as to the structure I am talking about.

The first is simply a moderately articulated diagram of where the human joints are (Level of Articulation 1). The second is an example (Baxter - by Christian Babski) included with Flux Studio. And the third is the Flux Studio scene tree showing that "the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the calf bone", etc... etc...I have a Flux Studio model of Baxter (baxter.spz) that I added several unique animations to. Since it is h-anim compliant, I was also able to add an animation that Cindy Reed-Ballreich made and one that Keith Victor made as well. The triggers in this avatar are set off by chat events in Cybertown (like HELLO makes him wave, and BYE makes him take a bow).

loa2.png (2920 bytes) baxter.png (28620 bytes) h-anim_tree.jpg (21827 bytes)

Below are several avatars (granted to the public domain by Paul Issacs), which I have converted to h-anim structure. The first three have a complex back-kick animation created by Keith Victor. I left the "joint" boxes in the models and made them silghtly transparent so you could see the beauty of the skeletal structure. You can, of course, delete these boxes. The avatars look very interesting with a simple repeating tile pattern on them.

The last two are simplified Level Of Articulation models (only the key parts for each LOA).  The SPZ files are know to work in Flux Studio version 2.4c; if you would like one that works in an older version, tell me which one and I will generate one for you.

Flux Studio will allow you to export the h-anim avatar in three parts.

  1. The Avatar
  2. The Behavior (animations)
  3. The Container

The Container is a very small file that simply points to the Avatar & the Behavior files. In this way, you can use many avatars with one set of humanoid animation behaviors (or gestures). In order to export these parts, you must select the Humanoid node in the Flux Studio scene tree (then they will be un-dimmed or selectable).

Flux Studio

h-anim examples

sphere_man_hanim.spz http://philliphansel.org/avatars/sphere_man_hanim.wrl
cube_man_hanim.spz http://philliphansel.org/avatars/cube_man_hanim.wrl
cyl_man_hanim.spz http://philliphansel.org/avatars/cyl_man_hanim.wrl
loa1_simple.spz http://philliphansel.org/avatars/loa1_simple.wrl
loa2_simple.spz http://philliphansel.org/avatars/loa2_simple.wrl