Fast and Efficient Skinning of Animated Meshes

Ladislav Kavan, Peter-Pike Sloan, Carol O'Sullivan


Skinning is a simple yet popular deformation technique combining compact storage with efficient hardware accelerated rendering. While skinned meshes (such as virtual characters) are traditionally created by artists, previous work proposes algorithms to construct skinning automatically from a given vertex animation. However, these methods typically perform well only for a certain class of input sequences and often require long pre-processing times. We present an algorithm based on iterative coordinate descent optimization which handles arbitrary animations and produces more accurate approximations than previous techniques, while using only standard linear skinning without any modifications or extensions. To overcome the computational complexity associated with the iterative optimization, we work in a suitable linear subspace (obtained by quick approximate dimensionality reduction) and take advantage of the typically very sparse vertex weights. As a result, our method requires about one or two orders of magnitude less pre-processing time than previous methods.

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