Animating volumetric models

Nikhil Gagvani, Deborah Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This paper describes a technique to animate three-dimensional sampled volumes. The technique gives the animator the ability to treat volumes as if they were standard polygonal models and to use all of the standard animation/motion capture tools on volumetric data. A volumetric skeleton is computed from a volumetric model using a multi-resolution thinning procedure. The volumetric skeleton is centered in the object and accurately represents the shape of the object. The thinning process is reversible in that the volumetric model can be reconstructed from the volumetric skeleton. The volumetric skeleton is then connected and imported into a standard graphics animation package for animation. The animated skeleton is used for reconstruction, which essentially recreates a deformed volume around the deformed skeleton, Polygons are never computed and the entire process remains in the volumetric domain. This technique is demonstrated on one of the most complex 3D datasets, the Visible Male, resulting in actual "human animation."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
JournalGraphical Models
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Geometry and Topology
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


  • Animation
  • Skeleton
  • Volume deformation
  • Volume graphics


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