M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentBar-Lev Adi
Subjectvirtual marionettes: a system for real-time animation
in 3D
DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science
Supervisors PROF. Alfred Bruckstein
PROF. Gershon Elber


Marionettes have always had a special place at puppet shows and are favorite toys for children of all ages.  The purpose of the system described herein is to unleash the phenomenal capabilities of the widely available personal computers of today to allow easy access to an imaginary puppet world of infinite variety.   An imaginary world which allows the user to play on stages from a computer graphics wonderland, with the help of some simple geometric data-input devices and high-resolution

displays that can easily be projected on large screens.

The current work describes a computer graphics system that enables users to define virtual marionette puppets and operate them using some specialized hardware devices, displaying the results on the computer screen. This computerized marionette theater has the potential to become both a popular computer game for children, an interaction tool over the internet enabling the creation of simultaneously viewed and operated marionette show by users on the World Wide Web, and a versatile and efficient professional animation system.

The system implemented herein is based on the physics of basic particles system which combines forces and geometric/time constraints along with an adaptive-time-step integration.  This, together with several heuristics - sometimes non-physical, provides us a system with real-time response that looks physically correct and enables one to run a rather complex virtual marionette show.