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Ken Perlin Talk at UCSC

“Acting for embodied interactive narrative”

Ken Perlin, NYU

Date: July 16th, 2010
Time: 1:15pm
Place: Engineering 2, Room 192

This lecture is free and open to the public, but visitors should purchase a parking pass from the visitor kiosk at the main entrance. There they can also provide a map showing the best parking for the School of Engineering.


The transition from game play to emotionally believable embodied interactive protagonist-driven narrative requires something more radical than better animation blending or motion capture.  It requires rethinking the process of virtual acting from the ground up.  We must abandon linear thinking altogether and create virtual actors that can move, emote, interact and respond in real time with plausible expression, emotion and body language.

This talk will consist of two parts.  The first will build a bridge between the genres of linear film narrative and embodied interactive narrative, establishing which principles need to be preserved and which need to change.  The second part of the talk will show how these principles are guiding the creation of true acting for embodied interactive narrative.

There will be cool demos.

Ken Perlin, an NYU professor of Computer Science, directs the NYU Games For Learning Institute, was founding director of the Media Research Laboratory, directed the NYU Center for Advanced Technology, researches graphics, animation, user interfaces and science education, received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement, the 2008 ACM/SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the TrapCode award for computer graphics achievement, the NYC Mayor’s award for excellence in Science and Technology, the Sokol award for outstanding NYU Science faculty, an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, has been a featured artist at the Whitney Museum of American Art, received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from NYU, B.A. in mathematics from Harvard, was Head of Software Development at R/GREENBERG Associates, System Architect for computer animation at MAGI, served on the Board of Directors of the New York chapter of ACM/SIGGRAPH and the New York Software Industry Association, and is 2010 general chair of UIST.

About the author:  Gillian Smith is a 5th year PhD student researching computer supported level design and procedural content generation. Her other interests include women in games and games in education. Read more from this author

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One Comment

  1. Poser Mocap
    Posted July 24, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    I was wondering if there would be transcripts available of the talk, or a location for people who were unable to attend to be able to access a video of the talk online. The idea of protagonist-driven interactive narrative seems to be the “holy grail” for many in the computer animation/gaming sector, and I for one would love to be able to hear Dr. Perlin’s thoughts on the subject.