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Mar 14, 2006

Commedia Virtuale: from theatre to avatars

Commedia Virtuale: from theatre to avatars

Digital Creativity Journal, Volume 16, Number 3 / 2005

Ben Salem 

We are investigating face, hand and body expressions to be applied to avatars of a virtual environment to improve their communication capabilities and enrich and facilitate their perception by users of the environment. We report on our work based on obtaining inspiration from the world of theatre. In this perspective Commedia dell'Arte and Noh theatre have been the focus of our attention. We explore key features of Commedia dell'Arte, namely improvisation, exaggerated gestures and expressive postures, and investigate how their adoption in the design of avatars can be useful for collaborative virtual environments. With the same objectives we look at another theatre style, the Noh theatre. We investigate the variety of masks and the choreography. The outcome is a visual language for avatars made up of postures, gestures and appearances. We have concluded this investigation with the production of an experimental theatre play involving real and virtual actors.

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