Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Eva Virtual Creature Meets the Real World

This is an image of the second EVA installation we have made for the exhibition. This installation is based on the Evolutionary Virtual Agent technology for its Artificial Intelligence part. It basically enables the creature to interact with the user in natural language. In the near future, Eva will be also able to learn about the user and to search information on the web.

The 3D interface was designed by a team of students (see previous posts on thatsubject). Animations like eyes blinks or emotional expressions are realized by simply switching images. A java Applet is responsible for displaying in real-time the face. The talking head is then projected on a physical form, that is a 3D sculpture representing thetop of the body and the face. This 3D model has been simplified and virtually tested to enable most facial animations without image distortion (see image on the right). It is interesting to note that the resulting model may recall some sort of paleolithic venus figurines or ancient egyptian scluptures. Anayway, the resulting effect is amazing. The projection on a physical model gives "life" to the artificial creature. Eva becomes real.

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