cgi actors in performance art
 
 
In spite of their potential appeal, computer-generated actors have problems in live performance: their behaviors are stiff and canned, and their bodies are flat projections
 
 
Theatre of All Possibilities, London, England - effects by Chris Shaw
TAP, London, England
Interactive stage actor designed by Chris Shaw for Karel Capek Opera, RUR, originally performed in Czech Rep.
Addressing the Flat-Screen Problem
 
The video to the left uses rear-screen projection to break down the human/virtual barrier.  Physical interactions with real humans have also been staged by projecting characters onto moving, 3D shapes or actors.  
 
The ultimate escape from the flat screen is a true 3D screen that gives artificial characters real depth.  There exists and elegant and effective design for such a screen.  For more info, contact chris@haptek.com
Automating Behavior - First Step (2004)
 
Traditional cgi characters perform by recalling previously-recorded motions and speech from the computer’s memory.  These performances are necessarily inflexible and have nothing to do with what’s actually happening on a stage right now.  An alternative approach is to input information about the humans on the stage, and have the computer calculate reactions for the character.  These real reactions (rather than recalled actions) make the artificial actor far more present, fluid, and alive.  We first tested this concept in a performance of Karel Capek’s opera RUR.  This opera deals with robots (he coined the term in 1919), so the character could look slightly robotic, which made her a good starting point.  The more this automation evolves, the more fluid, spontaneous and believable character performances will become.
 
 
Spontaneous Natural Performance - Genuine Artificial Actors
 
  Making a character gaze automatically at objects, or lip-sync automatically were the first steps in automating character behavior.  Now, characters have much more fully automated personalities.  Their automatic emotions respond appropriately to different objects and people they ‘see,’ to the words they ‘hear’ or say; to virtually any input into a computer.  These emotional reactions all contribute to make the character’s expressions, gestures, and movements truly spontaneous as it performs.  
 
Characters that automatically act human and natural open up the potential for 3D interactive realm of computer games to become a fully effective medium for drama, education, communication and commerce.