Personality and emotions in animated characters

The objective of this thesis is to imbue avatars with emotional responses to user and avatar interactions. Those emotional responses will constitute the avatar personality, which will dictate how he acts when confronted with certain stimuli.

The influence of emotions in human behaviour is an undisputed fact. How we feel affects not only how we act but also how we think. Emotional recognition and emulation is one of the most important steps in the creation of intelligent machines. Not all machines will need it, but it's a necessary skill for any machine whose purpose requires interacting with humans.

With that premise in mind, first I need to collect data of people in several emotional states, in order to establish what are the appropriate reactions to specific situations. To do that I will use the most widely accepted emotion elicitation methods, pictures and movies, in order to obtain coherent and standardized data. This will be done in a event-elicited way in a lab setting, where I record the emotions the subject feels with several sensors. Several physiological responses are expected when a person is experiencing certain emotions, such as variation of skin conductance and heart rate.

After the data collection several personality profiles will be created and implemented in the avatars that try to mimic those responses. I intend to create a wide variety of personality's in order to use in a different simulated situations.

We hope that this project allows for a advancement in avatar behaviours in order to further improve immersion and realism.

This project is still under development at the time