Transcript-based computer animation of movement: Evaluating a new tool for nonverbal behavior research.
A new approach for the use of computer animation in experimental nonverbal research is introduced. The method was evaluated in a pilot study (with 64 female and 32 male participants) comparing video recordings of movement in dyadic interactions with computer animations based on transcripts of the behavior, to determine whether similar impression effects could be obtained. At the core was a software tool allowing for the conversion of so-called position time-series protocols of movement into animation scripts for a professional computer animation platform. The software combines computer-assisted movement transcription and editing with state-of-the-art 3-D animation technology. Empirical evidence indicating remarkable overall correspondence between video recordings and computer animations is presented. Due to the lack of facial activity in the computer animations, a decline in visual attention for the face area could be observed, which did not, however, affect the impression ratings.
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