Disney Research


We present a graphical authoring tool for creating complex narratives in large, populated areas with crowds of virtual humans. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, our system enables an untrained author to assemble story arcs in terms of narrative events that seamlessly control either principal characters or choreographed heterogeneous crowds within the same conceptual structure. Smart Crowds allow groups of characters to be dynamically assembled and scheduled with ambient activities, while also permitting individual characters to be selected from the crowd and featured more prominently as an individual in a story with more sophisticated behavior. Our system runs in real-time at interactive rates with no pause or costly pre-computation step between creating a story and simulating it, making this approach ideal for storyboarding or previsualization of narrative sequences.

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