Purdue University Graduate School
2021.7.29 Meyer.pdf (1.72 MB)

Bodily Expression of Emotions in Animated Pedagogical Agents

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posted on 2021-07-29, 23:42 authored by Zachary R MeyerZachary R Meyer
The goal of this research is to identify key affective body gestures that can clearly convey four emotions, namely happy, content, bored, and frustrated, in animated characters that lack facial features. Two studies were conducted, a first to identify affective body gestures from a series of videos, and a second to validate the gestures as representative of the four emotions. Videos were created using motion capture data of four actors portraying the four targeted emotions and mapping the data to two 3D character models, one male and one female. In the first study the researcher identified body gestures that are commonly produced by individuals when they experience each of the four emotions being tested. Each body gesture was then annotated with descriptions of the movements using the FABO database. In the second study the researcher tested four sets of identified body gestures, one set for each emotion. The animated gestures were mapped to the 3D character models and 91 participants were asked to identify the emotional state conveyed by the characters through the body gestures. The participants were also asked to rate intensity, typicality, and sincerity for each emotion using a 5-point Likert scale. The study identified six gestures that were shown to have an acceptable recognition rate of at least 80% for three of the four emotions tested. Content was the only emotion which was not conveyed clearly by the identified body gestures. The gender of the character and the participants’ age were found to have a significant effect on recognition rates for the emotions.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Computer Graphics Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Nicoletta Adamo

Additional Committee Member 2

Christos Mousas

Additional Committee Member 3

Bedrich Benes

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