ServiceNow Research

Recurrent Transition Networks for Character Locomotion


Manually authoring transition animations for a complete locomotion system can be a tedious and time-consuming task, especially for large games that allow complex and constrained locomotion movements, where the number of transitions grows exponentially with the number of states. In this paper, we present a novel approach, based on deep recurrent neural networks, to automatically generate such transitions given a past context of a few frames and a target character state to reach. We present the Recurrent Transition Network (RTN), based on a modified version of the Long-Short-Term-Memory (LSTM) network, designed specifically for transition generation and trained without any gait, phase, contact or action labels. We further propose a simple yet principled way to initialize the hidden states of the LSTM layer for a given sequence which improves the performance and generalization to new motions. We both quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate our system and show that making the network terrain-aware by adding a local terrain representation to the input yields better performance for rough-terrain navigation on long transitions. Our system produces realistic and fluid transitions that rival the quality of Motion Capture-based ground-truth motions, even before applying any inverse-kinematics postprocess. Direct benefits of our approach could be to accelerate the creation of transition variations for large coverage, or even to entirely replace transition nodes in an animation graph. We further explore applications of this model in a animation super-resolution setting where we temporally decompress animations saved at 1 frame per second and show that the network is able to reconstruct motions that are hard to distinguish from un-compressed locomotion sequences.

Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia (SIGGRAPH Asia)
Christopher Pal
Christopher Pal
Distinguished Scientist

Distinguished Scientist at Low Data Learning located at Montreal, QC, Canada.