The 3rd Workshop for EU IRSES project on Next Generation Computer Animation Techniques
The “AniNex” workshop on ‘Next Generation Computer Animation Techniques’ was coordinated as part of the Edutainment 2017 conference programme at Bournemouth on 23 June 2017. The workshop was led by program Chair Dr. Jian Chang, co-Chair Prof Jian J. Zhang and Prof Nadia Thalmann.
Over 40 delegates from Europe and China have attended the “AniNex” Workshop. There were 27 submissions out of which 17 were accepted that will be published at the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (LNCS) by Springer.
The program of the workshop included a keynote presentation on the topic ‘Virtual Humans Modelling and Applications in Gaming and Cultural Heritage’ by Yvain Tisserand and Prof Nadia Thalmann, MIRALab, University of Geneva, Switzerland and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
The “AniNex” is funded by the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Action – international research staff exchange scheme. The project “AniNex” is designed to prepare and lead the development of next-generation techniques related to computer animation and its applications. For more information about the project, please visit project website (http://www.aninex.org)
Dr Hui Liang’s paper, co-authored with Dr Jian Chang, Ms Shujie Deng, Ms Can Chen, Prof Ruofeng Tong and Prof Jian Jun Zhang, titled “Exploitation of Novel Multiplayer Gesture-based Interaction and Virtual Puppetry for Digital Storytelling to Develop Children’s Narrative Skills” was selected as the Best Paper (4th prize) in the international conference ACM SIGGRAPH VRCAI 2015 in Kobe, Japan.
Dr Hui Liang is an EU FP7 funded Marie Curie Fellow at the National Centre for Computer Animation for a two year research programme “AniM”( http://www.euanim.org/) which is supervised by Dr Jian Chang and Prof Jianjun Zhang. “AniM” – Enhanced Computer Animation by Fusing Computer Graphics Technology with Smart Data Management aims to improve the status quo by developing the “next generation computer animation data management and related techniques” through knowledge transfer and development.
The award winning paper presented a prototype of a novel multiplayer system for interactive digital storytelling assisted with virtual puppetry to provide natural interaction/control and immersive experience when narrating stories. The system integrates useful Virtual Reality techniques and novel hardware, which aims to inspire the development of young children’s abilities, such as narrative skills, cognitive skills, motor coordination and collaboration through storytelling. It integrates motion sensing technology, computer animation techniques and cloud-based network solution. The development of the prototype demonstrates the possibility of combining novel HCI and digital storytelling to inspire children’s teaching and learning practices.
Read the whole article at: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/22879/
The project supported by BU fusion investment fund has enabled us to establish a strategic partnership between the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University and the School of Information and Software Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Engineering of China (UESTC). The UESTC is located in Chengdu, one of the largest cities in Western China. Such a relationship with a top ranked University in China benefits BU’s international strategy and boosts its influence to China, which is a fast growing market for international student recruitment.
The execution of the project has led to a range of successful networking activities including multi-disciplinary knowledge exchange and strategic meetings on the collaboration of two universities at different levels. Three bi-laterals visits took place: a group of UESTC delegates’ visit to BU led by Prof. Zhiguang Qin from China in January, 2013; Prof. Jian J. Zhang’s visit to UESTC in April, 2013; and Dr. Jian Chang’s visit to UESTC in May, 2013. During the visits, two research workshops were held at BU and UESTC respectively where new ideas were discussed on research collaboration and effective cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange, with focus on computer animation; distribute computing and social network computing.
The activities have been mapped to BU’s strategic international development, in particular to the development of long-term and self-sustainable relationships with universities in China. The initiated activities will further lead to multi-disciplinary research collaboration between both institutions and international student recruitment.
The University has provided 360 degree of support to encourage staff to participate in various research activities. The Fusion Investment Fund (FIF) is a brilliant opportunity to seed future research development projects and forge collaborations with internal and external partners. I was inspired to apply the FIF through a number of interesting discussions with Prof. Jian J. Zhang looking at the evidence of the increasing influence from China in both economic and scientific worlds. Links with Chinese institutions will no doubt benefit Bournemouth University through various education and scientific research activities. I also owe my gratitude to the continuous support and encouragement from Dr. Corrina Dickson, Prof. Barry Richard and Prof. Mathew Bennett during the preparation of my FIF application.
The FIF allows me to develop network activities leading to the establishment of a strategic partnership between the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) of Bournemouth University (BU) and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), and to create opportunities in joint research, enterprise and education endeavours. UESTC has been among the top ranked Chinese universities, and has been the best educational base in China for computer science and electronic engineering. It is located in Chengdu, one of the largest cities in Western China. The formation of the strategic partnership will strengthen the link of BU to China and in particular will bring BU’s influence that is currently absent to the western part of China.
I have been in contact with Prof. Zhiguang Qin (UESTC), Dean of School of Information and Software Engineering and Dean of School of Computer Science and Engineering, and the international office of UESTC to discuss possibilities on collaboration at various levels since 2010. Strong interest has been identified on the development of hardware and software algorithms of haptic devices for virtual reality applications, where the research excellence of UESTC in computer science, as a complementary element, matches well with the expertise of the NCCA in virtual reality and computer animation. The collaboration can be further extended to cover other research topics based on the mutual interest of both institutions.