Skeletal Animation for the Exploration of Graphs

Merrick, D. and Dwyer, T.

    The topic of skeletal animation and its associated techniques have previously been applied in the area of animating computer-generated characters for motion pictures and computer games. This paper investigates the use of similar techniques in the scope of exploring three-dimensional visualisations of graphs. A system is discussed which, after generating an initial 3D layout for a graph, creates a structural 'skeleton' of the graph and allows a user to push, pull and drag nodes of the skeleton in order to manipulate the layout. Skeletal animation is used to smoothly animate the graph layout according to the movement applied by the user as well as various underlying constraints forced on the graph's skeleton. Several algorithms for performing this skeletal animation are proposed, and evaluated to determine the relative benefits and disadvantages of each.
Cite as: Merrick, D. and Dwyer, T. (2004). Skeletal Animation for the Exploration of Graphs. In Proc. Australasian Symposium on Information Visualisation, (invis.au'04), Christchurch, New Zealand. CRPIT, 35. Churcher, N. and Churcher, C., Eds. ACS. 61-70.
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