KineMan

Movable 3D Human Skeleton






Advanced Option / Animation


Overview

KineMan Pro’s most powerful feature is the ability to create and playback animated pose sequences. With this feature, you can observe different parts of the body moving simultaneously and smoothly. KineMan animations can incorporate any combination of 172 joint DOFs (degrees of freedom), plus all 6 body DOFs.

With this capability, you can demonstrate complex human motion sequences in 3D, for use in training or analysis of athletic, martial arts, dance, musical or theatrical performance, or similar applications.

KineMan animations are constructed using classic ‘keyframe’ animation techniques, whereby two or more static KineMan poses are associated with discrete points along a time line, and poses at intermediate times are derived by smooth interpolation between these keyframe poses. To be clear, KineMan animations are not mere recordings (screencasts) of simple joint movements, because they can involve multiple joints moving at the same time!

Furthermore, KineMan animations stand apart from other 3D human animation tools, in several ways. Most importantly, they are 'fully 3D': you can manipulate the body position during animation playback, to view it from any position and perspective. Also, the timing of movements can be freely defined, to support any velocity or acceleration profile, for any DOF, at any time. Plus, the animations incorporate KineMan's high-fidelity anatomy and kinematic model, consisting of realistic joint rotation axes & ranges of motion, to help to avoid 'unrealizable' movements.

KineMan's animation capabilities are offered at two levels:

Flexible Playback

The Standard Edition of KineMan Pro allows you to load animation sequences and play them back using a variety of special controls. In addition to conventional Play and Pause buttons, you can vary the playback rate or direction, and select various playback modes. You can also move thru sequence manually, using a timeline (‘progress’) slider. During playback, you can manipulate the view or position using KineMan’s sliders or joystick (drag across the viewing area). You can also take advantage of many other km features along the way: stop & save image or pose, change rendering, show/hide bones, etc.



Simple Creation

The Advanced Option allows you to create & save animations. Creating a KineMan animation is straightforward: you select two or more regular KineMan poses, & assign them to points along a time line. That’s all that’s required: you can then press the Play button and watch the simulation unfold. If you’re satisfied with the result, you can save the animation parameters to the KineMan Repository (and from there, save to disk, distribute to colleagues, etc.) If not, you can improve the animation using KineMan’s versatile Animation Editor - a tabular list of poses & their times, where you can easily add, rearrange, & delete poses and modify their timing.

With this capability, KineMan Pro becomes a powerful human motion synthesis tool: you can create a motion simulation for just about any conceivable human motion. You can simulate ‘real’ motions, captured on video, by using KineMan’s Pose Tracing tools. From there, you can investigate ‘unrealized’ motions by modifying any of the key poses, or their timing parameters. Or, you can forgo the ‘realistic’ aspects entirely, and instead use your imagination to create ‘prospective’ or ‘possible’ motion simulations.

KineMan animations are also useful for generating 'interpolated' static poses. For example, if you want to model a hand grabbing cylindrical objects of various diameters, you can define hand poses for just a couple of different cylinder diameters. Then, use the animation timeline slider as an interpolator, to quickly simulate any intermediate diameter. In essence, this approach allows you to define a type of ‘joint group’, where you can effect multiple joint motions using a single slider.

Since animations are built from KineMan poses, you can leverage all of KineMan’s advanced tools to build those poses. Some of the advanced tools have been designed specifically to facilitate creating animations: