Efficient Dynamic Constraints for Animating Articulated Figures

Evangelos Kokkevis, Dimitris Metaxas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper presents an efficient dynamics-based computer animation system for simulating and controlling the motion of articulated figures. A non-trivial extension of Featherstone's O(n) recursive forward dynamics algorithm is derived which allows enforcing one or more constraints on the animated figures. We demonstrate how the constraint force evaluation algorithm we have developed makes it possible to simulate collisions between articulated figures, to compute the results of impulsive forces, to enforce joint limits, to model closed kinematic loops, and to robustly control motion at interactive rates. Particular care has been taken to make the algorithm not only fast, but also easy to implement and use. To better illustrate how the constraint force evaluation algorithm works, we provide pseudocode for its major components. Additionally, we analyze its computational complexity and finally we present examples demonstrating how our system has been used to generate interactive, physically correct complex motion with small user effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages26
JournalMultibody System Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization


  • Articulated figures
  • Collision handling
  • Dynamic control
  • Efficient dynamic simulation
  • Physics-based modeling


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