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Re: 'not an artist' article

Chris Purnell wrote:

> I liked your idea about evolving the bones.  I think fixing the number of
> bones and their conections is the way to go.  And having the genes control
> the length of the bones.  I'm not sure about constraints about the relative
> lengths of the upper and lower parts of the limbs.
> This is where I get stuck.  Putting the flesh on the bones.

Don't get me wrong - I wasn't thinking about physical bones - and then some
realistic computation of musculature and skin...NO NO NO!

I mean't the software structures that animators use with matrix weighting
and such to animate characters.  There would be 'bones' in the characters
hair, clothing, weapons, etc.
> > It's tempting (for example) to think of 'symmetry' genes - but does that
> > overly-restrict or pre-judge the nature of the things you build?
> I was thinking of enforcing left-right symmetry so we only have to
> generate half a character.

Well, I'd like to be able to generate characters like the hunchback
of Notre Dame from the Disney cartoon.

He is pretty asymmetrical - geometrically...but symmetrical topologically
(if you see what I mean).

I was thinking about maybe having one gene specify the order of
symmetry (8 for an octopus, 5 for a starfish) - a gene to specify
mirror symmetry - and a gene to control the amount of variation
between two limits for the otherwise nominally symmetrical object.

Dunno though - the more I think about this, the harder it gets.

I think it will be necessary to start simple and add complexity
once some experience has been had with such a system.

If we had one that worked, it would be really simple to do
Pokemon-like games with 150 cartoon characters.  That would
be inconcievable for an opensource project without such a tool.

(BTW: My son tells me that the next Pokemon cartridge for the
GameBoy will allow you to cross-breed your Pokemon to get entirely
new creatures.  That says they must already be thinking along these

Steve Baker   HomeEmail: <sjbaker1@airmail.net>
              WorkEmail: <sjbaker@link.com>
              HomePage : http://web2.airmail.net/sjbaker1
              Projects : http://plib.sourceforge.net

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