In terms of character animation, the games industry is currently split into two groups: studios trying to achieve highly realistic motion, and those going for stylized characters. Interestingly enough, both these groups are converging on procedural animation as a way to reduce mocap overheads, reduce memory usage, provide animators with more direct control, and increase the space of animations possible...
In this keynote from the Paris Game AI Conference 2010, you'll hear Ken Perlin explain the benefits of procedural animation. Ken is a leading expert in the field of character animation, and in this presentation he demonstrates his many character prototypes he's built over the years. You'll see how simple techniques combined with effective artists controls can bring characters to life!
Ken Perlin is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at New York University. He's best known for his invention of multi-layered "Perlin" noise in the mid-80s, and most recently his work on procedural character animation. He is also the Chief Technology Advisor of ActorMachine, LLC.
Here's a specialized format for you to download and play offline via a portable player:
Procedural Animation and Why it Matters — Video Ken Perlin Download MOV (QuickTime)
The MP3 file below is better quality than the streaming video above, and is a perfect candidate for listening to via a portable player (96 Kbps). The OGG file is the highest quality of all (128 KBps). You can download them both here:
If you have any questions feel free to post them below, or in the forum thread associated with this post!