The Research and Development Group at the Institute of Animation is a multidisciplinary team, which main focus is the creation of innovative tools and technologies for entertainment productions. Along the years, we have explored different areas that have been crucial in media production related developments.
In the field of Virtual Production the group is currently part of the EU project Dreamspace that will research and develop tools to combine live performances, video and computer-generated imagery in real time.
Virtual Characters, Animation and Psychology are combined in SARA, a DFG funded project that investigates how individuals with Autism perceive computer-generated facial expressions with different levels of abstraction. This project is based on the Agent Framework (AF), which is a development platform for the creation of animated and believable characters. Other examples of the AF are an interactive conference guide, a cloud based animated messaging service for mobile devices (Emote), and an interactive installation where animated characters recite poetry in an emotional way (Muses of Poetry).
The main developing tool used in all the projects of the R&D group is called Filmakademie Application Framework: Frapper. In the past, a strong emphasis on practical tools for high quality facial animation (Facial Animation Toolset) was possible through the 'Artificial Actors' project, which included one of the first convincing prototypical VFX productions featuring a completely digital actor.