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Real Time Actor Driven Creature Animation in Context

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, February 09, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project under the supervision of Prof Darren Cosker ( in the Department of Computer Science.

Technologies such as motion capture have opened the door to a new direction in acting – i.e. animating digital characters from actor performance. Made famous by characters such as Gollum (animated by Andy Serkis), this technique is now common place in movies, video games and real time virtual experiences.

In this approach, a performer will be recorded by a multi-camera system and translated into a skeleton. This is then mapped to the skeleton of the digital character. However, differences in physiology mean that mappings are typically not accurate. For example, the digital performance of an actor lifting a cup will not translate cleanly to the same performance in the digital character, with the characters hand either missing the object of intersecting with it. Similar situations exist when multiple actors interact – a handshake will have to be entirely re-animated by hand if the size of either actor’s digital character is different from the actor themselves.

In this project, we will explore ways to increase the quality of digital character animation by considering the ‘context’ of the animation and the parts of the world and objects they are interacting with. While this approach might typically be approached using expensive optimisations, we will develop a data driven approach coupled with deep learning to improve quality in real-time.

The project will be based in CAMERA ( and will also overlap with research and commercial projects within the centre.

Candidate requirements:

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in a relevant subject and should have strong mathematical and programming ability (e.g. Python, C/C++, Matlab, Java). A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous. Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement

How to apply:

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be addressed to Prof Darren Cosker.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Computer Science

Please ensure that you quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020.

Funding Notes

Research Council funding is available for an excellent UK or EU student who has been resident in the UK since September 2017. For more information on eligibility, see: View Website.

Funding will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a stipend (£15,009 per annum, 2019/20 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

Applicants classed as Overseas for tuition fee purposes are NOT eligible for funding; however, we welcome all-year-round applications from self-funded candidates and candidates who can source their own funding.

How good is research at University of Bath in Computer Science and Informatics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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