A High Fidelity Open Embodied Avatar with LipSyncing and Expression Capabilities

ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI)

Publication date: October 14, 2019

Deepali Aneja, Daniel McDuff, Shital Shah

Embodied avatars as virtual agents have many applications and provide benefits over disembodied agents, allowing nonverbal social and interactional cues to be leveraged, in a similar manner to how humans interact with each other. We present an open embodied avatar built upon the Unreal Engine that can be controlled via a simple python programming interface. The avatar has lip syncing (phoneme control), head gesture and facial expression (using either facial action units or cardinal emotion categories) capabilities. We release code and models to illustrate how the avatar can be controlled like a puppet or used to create a simple conversational agent using public application programming interfaces (APIs).

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