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VIRTUAL ACTORS AND DIGITAL STORYTELLING
VADS (Virtual Actors and Digital Storytelling) is an area of applied research in Centro de Computação Gráfica that is inspired by the theatrical representation and narratives, directed to the research and development of innovative and interactive systems. The application areas can cover advertising, support systems, computer games, psychological therapy, training and education (edutainment), art, creativity and entertainment, and digital books.
The research and development effort focused on:
. Virtual Actors:
Virtual Actors have multiple features. Under the project VirtualActor, the research team studies how virtual actors with a certain autonomous intelligence, can support a filmmaker in creating animated films. In various projects (GUIDE [+] AAL4ALL [+] VA4Banking [+] VitalBox, TopicShoe), mostly targeted to the market, we develop virtual characters with high visual quality through a unique proprietary system, that can be used in information kiosks, web sites, or on TV.
. Story Authoring Systems:
Systems to create stories and produce animated films (e. g., VirtualActor, Voodoo). Voodoo is a system that allows children to create animated film with plastic dolls (action figures), as tangible interface.
. Systems to interact with stories:
Interactive narrative systems such as the Living Drawings, in which the children draw a character on paper, this character is automatically scanned and animated, and can, for example, walking and running on the table or perform other types of animation. HIP-Storytelling (hand interactive projection for storytelling) allows you to use your hand to interact directly with virtual elements of the story. The main feature of the system is the projection on top of the palm of the hand of the users; thus, the hand becomes also a viewing surface, allowing to manipulate (pick up, carry, drop) these virtual elements. In an early stage there are projects based on augmented reality interaction, and research projects directed to the book of the future [+]
.Digital Storytelling for Arts:
Systems based on interactive simulations geared for the performing arts. An example of this field of research and development is the software "Expressive Water" created for the play " Um Acto de Comunhão," where an interactive simulation of water expresses the feelings of the character of the piece. Other projects of digital art in embryonic stage, addressing the interaction with virtual actors that oscillate between autonomy and dependence, and innovative forms of interactive theater.