Geometric Skinning with Approximate Dual Quaternion Blending

Skinning of skeletally deformable models is extensively used for real-time animation of characters, creatures and similar objects. The standard solution, linear blend skinning, has some serious drawbacks that require artist intervention. Therefore, a number of alternatives have been proposed in recent years. All of them successfully combat some of the artifacts, but none challenge the simplicity and efficiency of linear blend skinning. As a result, linear blend skinning is still the number one choice for the majority of developers. In this paper, we present a novel skinning algorithm based on linear combination of dual quaternions. Even though our proposed method is approximate, it does not exhibit any of the artifacts inherent in previous methods and still permits an efficient GPU implementation. Upgrading an existing animation system from linear to dual quaternion skinning is very easy and has a relatively minor impact on run-time performance.

ACM Transactions on Graphics 27(4):105, 2008.

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